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J Pathol. 2001 Jun;194(2):247-53.

Nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNAs are regulated in distinct cell populations of rat heart after ischaemia and reperfusion.

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Program of Molecular Neurobiology, Institute of Biotechnology, Viikki Biocenter, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Neurotrophins play a crucial role in the development of the peripheral nervous system and their mRNAs are often regulated after several types of tissue injury. This study has investigated the regulation of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) mRNAs 30 min after myocardial ischaemia followed by reperfusion, by northern blotting, and in situ hybridization in a rat model. Between 2 and 120 h of reperfusion, Ngf mRNA levels showed two- to four-fold up-regulation compared with sham-operated hearts. Scattered Ngf-expressing cells, probably pericytes, were detected in the viable border zone of the myocardium in close association with capillaries, venules, and arterioles. In addition, diffuse Ngf expression was seen in the infarct area after 120 h of reperfusion. Bdnf mRNA showed transient up-regulation after 2 and 5 h of reperfusion and remained at control levels thereafter. Bdnf was expressed in the myocytes of the viable border zone. Nt-3 expression showed no significant changes compared with sham-operated hearts. These results suggest a role for NGF and/or BDNF in the pathogenesis of reperfusion injury or in the alterations of cardiac sensory and sympathetic neuronal function after myocardial ischaemia and reperfusion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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