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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 May 8;98(10):5874-9. Epub 2001 Apr 24.

FGF-2 regulation of neurogenesis in adult hippocampus after brain injury.

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  • 1Neuroscience Center, Department of Neurosurgery and Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Molecular Neurogenetics Unit, Boston, MA 02129, USA.


Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) promotes proliferation of neuroprogenitor cells in culture and is up-regulated within brain after injury. Using mice genetically deficient in FGF-2 (FGF-2(-/-) mice), we addressed the importance of endogenously generated FGF-2 on neurogenesis within the hippocampus, a structure involved in spatial, declarative, and contextual memory, after seizures or ischemic injury. BrdUrd incorporation was used to mark dividing neuroprogenitor cells and NeuN expression to monitor their differentiation into neurons. In the wild-type strain, hippocampal FGF-2 increased after either kainic acid injection or middle cerebral artery occlusion, and the numbers of BrdUrd/NeuN-positive cells significantly increased on days 9 and 16 as compared with the controls. In FGF-2(-/-) mice, BrdUrd labeling was attenuated after kainic acid or middle cerebral artery occlusion, as was the number of neural cells colabeled with both BrdUrd and NeuN. After FGF-2(-/-) mice were injected intraventricularly with a herpes simplex virus-1 amplicon vector carrying FGF-2 gene, the number of BrdUrd-labeled cells increased significantly to values equivalent to wild-type littermates after kainate seizures. These results indicate that endogenously synthesized FGF-2 is necessary and sufficient to stimulate proliferation and differentiation of neuroprogenitor cells in the adult hippocampus after brain insult.

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