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Cytokine. 2002 Jul 21;19(2):55-8.

Human cerebral endothelial cells are a potential source for bioactive BDNF.

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Clinical Research Unit for Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology, Department of Neurology, University of W├╝rzburg, Germany.


Inflammatory stimuli within the central nervous system may not only induce tissue damage but may also convey neuroprotection. It has been shown that brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neuroprotective candidate. Here we show that BDNF is constitutively expressed in cultured human cerebral endothelial cells (HCEC) and can further be upregulated under proinflammatory conditions. TNF-alpha treatment resulted in an increase in BDNF mRNA expression and protein levels were significantly elevated after 72 h (69+/-33%, P<0.01). Using functional assays it was demonstrated that BDNF produced by HCEC is bioactive and supports motoneuron survival. In contrast, BDNF expression was reduced by TNF-alpha in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). We conclude that HCEC likely to contribute to neuronal survival under physiological and inflammatory conditions.

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