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Cell. 1978 Nov;15(3):813-22.

Schwann cell growth factors.


Purified rat Schwann cells were found to proliferate very slowly in normal growth medium containing 10% fetal calf serum (FCS). Crude extracts of bovine pituitary or brain markedly enhanced Schwann cell growth, while similar extracts of nerve roots, liver and kidney did not. Pituitary extracts were more potent than brain extracts, and extracts from both anterior and posterior pituitary were active. The mitogenic activity of pituitary extracts was reduced by treatment with trypsin, and abolished by pronase and by boiling. A variety of known anterior and posterior pituitary hormones, as well as fibroblast, epidermal and nerve growth factors, were not mitogenic. FCS (greater than 1%) was required for Schwann cell proliferation, but even high concentrations of FCS did not substitute for pituitary or brain extracts, and serum from various other species did not support Schwann cell growth. Although various agents that increase cyclic AMP levels (such as cholera toxin) had been shown to be Schwann cell mitogens, extracts of pituitary or brain did not increase cyclic AMP levels. Extracts of various bovine tissues, including pituitary, brain, liver and kidney, acted synergistically with cholera toxin in stimulating Schwann cell proliferation, although the increase in cyclic AMP induced by the mixture was not greater than that seen with cholera toxin alone. We conclude that there are at least two separate pathways for stimulating Schwann cell division, only one of which involves an increase in intracellular cyclic AMP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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