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Eur J Neurosci. 1997 Nov;9(11):2432-41.

Blockade of basic fibroblast growth factor retards recovery from motor cortex injury in rats.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Lethbridge, AB, Canada.


The endogenous expression of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was blocked by neutralizing antibodies following unilateral suction lesions of the motor cortex. Rats with control treatment (saline, goat IgG) after motor cortex lesions showed slow recovery of forelimb manipulatory abilities. Rats with blockade of bFGF expression showed little recovery. Anatomically, the control-treated lesioned rats showed an acute increase in bFGF and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) reactivity, and chronically they had normal dendritic arborization and spine density in layer V pyramidal cells in the remaining motor cortex. In contrast, rats treated with antibodies to bFGF showed little bFGF reactivity, normal GFAP reactivity, and atrophy of dendritic arbor and decreased spine density in layer V pyramidal cells. These results demonstrate the importance of endogenous bFGF release in processes related to functional recovery after cortical injury.

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