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J Neurochem. 1999 May;72(5):1871-81.

The levels of leukemia inhibitory factor mRNA in a Schwann cell line are regulated by multiple second messenger pathways.

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Department of Neurosciences, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


Axotomy of sympathetic and sensory neurons leads to changes in their neuropeptide phenotypes. These changes are mediated in part by the induction of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) by nonneuronal cells. In the present study, we identified satellite/Schwann cells as a possible source of the injury-induced LIF. Using a Schwann cell line, SC-1 cells, we examined mechanisms of LIF induction. LIF mRNA levels increased rapidly when the cells were treated with 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), or A23187. Among these reagents, PMA was the most efficacious. Inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) by GF-1 09203X significantly reduced the PMA-induced LIF mRNA levels. As PKC is known to activate the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathway, the involvement of this pathway in the PMA-stimulated induction of LIF mRNA was examined. Phosphorylation of ERKs was increased following PMA treatment in SC-1 cells. Moreover, inhibition of ERK kinase activity by PD98059 dramatically reduced PMA-stimulated phosphorylation of ERKs and induction of LIF mRNA. These results indicate that LIF mRNA levels can be regulated by ERK activation via stimulation of PKC in Schwann cells.

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