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J Neurochem. 2008 Jul;106(1):244-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05357.x. Epub 2008 Jul 1.

Serotonin (5-HT) induces glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) mRNA expression via the transactivation of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) in rat C6 glioma cells.

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Division of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Institute of Clinical Research, National Hospital Organization (NHO), Kure Medical Center and Chugoku Cancer Center, Kure, Japan.


We previously reported that serotonin (5-HT) increased glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) release in a 5-HT(2) receptor (5-HT(2)R) and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase/extracellular signal-related kinase (MEK/ERK)-dependent manner in rat C6 glioma cells (C6 cells), a model of astrocytes. We herein found that 5-HT-induced rapid ERK phosphorylation was blocked by 5-HT(2)R antagonists in C6 cells. We therefore examined 5-HT-induced ERK phosphorylation to reveal the mechanism of 5-HT-induced GDNF mRNA expression. As 5-HT-induced ERK phosphorylation was blocked by inhibitors for Galpha(q/11) and fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR), but not for second messengers downstream of Galpha(q/11), 5-HT(2)R-mediated FGFR transactivation was suggested to be involved in the ERK phosphorylation. Although FGFR1 and 2 were functionally expressed in C6 cells, 5-HT selectively phosphorylated FGFR2. Indeed, small interfering RNA for FGFR2, but not for FGFR1, blocked 5-HT-induced ERK phosphorylation. As Src family tyrosine kinase inhibitors and microtubule depolymerizing agents blocked 5-HT-induced FGFR2 phosphorylation, Src family tyrosine kinase and stabilized microtubules were suggested to act upstream of FGFR2. Finally, 5-HT-induced GDNF mRNA expression was also inhibited by the blockade of 5-HT(2)R, FGFR, and Src family tyrosine kinase. In conclusion, our findings suggest that 5-HT induces GDNF mRNA expression via 5-HT(2)R-mediated FGFR2 transactivation in C6 cells.

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