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Synapse. 1988;2(1):11-22.

Neurotrophic effects of GABA in cultures of embryonic chick brain and retina.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of Göttingen, Federal Republic of Germany.


The present study examined whether GABA treatments would affect the growth and development of embryonic chick cortical and retinal neurons in culture. Incubation of these cells in the presence of 10(-5) M GABA produced several responses. It promoted the proliferation and the differentiation of the neurons studied by affecting the length and branching of the neurites as well as synaptogenesis, as revealed by morphometric measures. At the ultrastructural level, GABA treatment also led to an increased density of neurotubules, rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), Golgi apparatus, coated vesicles, and other vesicles. These data support the hypothesis that GABA functions as a trophic or regulatory factor of at least certain neuron types.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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