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Neuron. 1991 Mar;6(3):397-409.

Expression of acidic fibroblast growth factor mRNA in the developing and adult rat brain.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106.


We have localized acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) mRNA in the developing and adult rat brain using in situ hybridization histochemistry. Prenatally, hybridization to aFGF mRNA was observed throughout the brain, with the strongest signal associated with cells of the developing cortical plate. Postnatally, labeling was localized to specific neuronal populations. In the hippocampus, labeling of the pyramidal cell layer and dentate granule cells was observed and became progressively more intense with maturation. Labeling was also observed in both the external and internal granule cell layers of the developing cerebellum. Pyramidal cells of the neocortex as well as neurons of the substantia nigra and locus ceruleus also express aFGF. This pattern persists into adulthood, although the intensity of the labeling is significantly reduced in the adult brain. These patterns of hybridization correlate with specific developmental events and suggest that aFGF plays a significant role in both central nervous system development and neuronal viability in the adult brain.

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