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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Sep 15;88(18):8159-63.

Neurotrophic activity of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF): Rat neuronal cells possess functional PDGF beta-type receptors and respond to PDGF.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Biomedical Center, Uppsala, Sweden.


The different isoforms of PDGF bind with different affinities to two different receptor types. Previously, these receptors have been demonstrated mainly on mesenchymal and glial cells. We show here that PDGF beta-type receptors are present also on rat brain neurons in vivo as well as in vitro. Immunohistochemical analysis of a sequentially sectioned brain of a newborn rat revealed the presence of PDGF beta receptors in neurons throughout the central nervous system. These beta-receptor-bearing cells were shown to contain neurofilaments by double immunofluorescence staining. Furthermore, the PDGF-BB isoform bound to cells in a neuron-enriched culture from newborn rat brains and induced c-Fos protein in these cells. Continuous PDGF-BB treatment of primary rat brain cell cultures resulted in outgrowth of neurites and prolonged survival. These results indicate a neurotrophic effect of PDGF-BB.

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