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Neuroreport. 2007 Oct 29;18(16):1683-6.

The biological effects of cell-delivered brain-derived neurotrophic factor on cultured spiral ganglion cells.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


The benefit achieved by the use of cochlear implants depends among other factors on the number of surviving spiral ganglion cells (SGCs). Neurotrophic factors, especially brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), have a protective effect on spiral ganglions. Coating of the cochlear implant electrode with BDNF-producing cells may provide long-term delivery of the factor. Therefore, the hypothesis that BDNF-producing fibroblasts can enhance cell survival of cultured SGCs was tested. Lentiviral infection of fibroblasts resulted in BDNF production. Conditioned medium obtained from infected fibroblasts was used for the cultivation of SGCs. As a result, improved survival and neurite outgrowth was observed on SGCs. Our results demonstrate that lentivirally infected fibroblasts produce BDNF that has neurotrophic effects on spiral ganglions.

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