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Dev Biol. 1993 Sep;159(1):266-75.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 support the survival and neuritogenesis response of developing cochleovestibular ganglion neurons.

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  • 1Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain.


The effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) on the differentiation of avian cochleovestibular ganglion and their possible association with the hydrolysis of glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) were studied. BDNF and NT-3 (2 ng/ml) promoted neurite outgrowth in explants of both cochlear and vestibular ganglia. This effect on neuritogenesis was stage-dependent, reaching a maximum at E7 for NT-3 and at E9 for BDNF. The magnitude of the response of the vestibular ganglion to BDNF was always smaller than that of the cochlear ganglion of an equivalent stage. BDNF and NT-3 stimulation of neuronal survival and neurite extension was also demonstrated in dissociated neuronal cell cultures. The effect was concentration-dependent with saturation of the response occurring at 4 ng/ml for BDNF and at 2 ng/ml for NT-3, the half-maximal effect occurring at 2 and 1 ng/ml, respectively, for the most sensitive stages of the chick cochlear ganglion. Inositol phosphoglycan (IPG) did not mimic the effects of BDNF or NT-3 on neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth, nor was it able to potentiate their responses. Antibodies raised against IPG did not block the effects of these neurotrophins. The results suggest that BDNF and NT-3 may act in cooperation to establish the innervation pattern of the inner ear. Unlike their early proliferative effects, neurotrophic effects are uncoupled from the GPI/IPG signal transduction system.

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