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Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1995 May 26;86(1-2):203-16.

Striatal TGF-alpha: postnatal developmental expression and evidence for a role in the proliferation of subependymal cells.

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Fishberg Research Center in Neurobiology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-alpha) is expressed in the brain and affects cells by binding to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R). Using a ribonuclease protection assay, we found that TGF-alpha steady state mRNA levels in the mouse striatum peak during the first week of postnatal life. Temporally this peak correlates with the height of gliogenesis in the subependymal layer (SEL), which lies along the striatal border of the lateral ventricle. In vitro studies demonstrate that TGF-alpha can stimulate the proliferation of astrocytes, so glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) mRNA levels were measured as well and it was observed that the peak of GFAP expression followed that of TGF-alpha by 1 week. Furthermore, in a TGF-alpha deficient mouse, waved-1 (wa-1), a significant reduction of GFAP mRNA levels and immunostaining for GFAP was found in the striatum. Bromodeoxyuridine labeling combined with immunohistochemistry of normal postnatal day 6 brain showed that the proliferating cells in the SEL are EGF-R immunoreactive. In the waved-1 SEL, there were fewer BrdU positive cells and there was a reduced level of [3H]thymidine incorporation. EGF-R immunoreactive cells were found in the SEL of the adult mouse brain. Taken together, our data suggest that the TGF-alpha/EGF-R signaling pathway is involved in postnatal mitogenic events in the brain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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