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Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1997 Apr 18;99(2):253-8.

Restricted growth potential of rat neural precursors as compared to mouse.

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  • 1MRC Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair, Cambridge University Forvie Site, UK.


Epidermal growth factor (EGF) responsive precursors isolated from the developing mouse striatum could be continually expanded in culture as free-floating spheres of cells for over 50 days. Under identical conditions, EGF-responsive precursors from the developing rat striatum could only be expanded for between 21 and 28 days, after which crisis ensued and there was a reduction in cell number at each passage. The outer regions of 28-day-old rat spheres contained a heterogeneous population of both dividing and dying cells while the cores were full of dying cells, many of which showed features consistent with apoptosis. Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) alone did not lead to an expansion in rat striatal precursor cell number under the conditions used here. EGF combined with FGF-2 acted synergistically on cell growth, but did not prevent the final senescence and death of the rat precursors.

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