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Exp Brain Res. 1993;97(1):145-58.

Protective actions of human recombinant basic fibroblast growth factor on MPTP-lesioned nigrostriatal dopamine neurons after intraventricular infusion.

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Department of Histology and Neurobiology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF, FGF-2) is a trophic factor for neurons and astrocytes and has recently been demonstrated in the vast majority of dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral midbrain of the rat. Potential neuroprotective actions of FGF-2 in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model have also been reported. The actions of the FGF-2 have now been further analyzed in a combined morphological and behavioural analysis in the MPTP model of the adult black mouse, using a continuous human recombinant FGF-2 (hrFGF-2) intraventricular (i.v.t.) administration in a heparin-containing (10 IU heparin/ml) mock cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) solution. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunocytochemistry in combination with computer assisted microdensitometry demonstrated a counteraction of the MPTP-induced disappearance of neostriatal TH-immunoreactive (ir) nerve terminals following the FGF-2 treatment. Unbiased estimates of the total number of nigral TH ir neurons, using stereological methods involving the optical disector (Olympus), showed that the MPTP-induced reduction in the number of nigral TH ir nerve cell bodies counterstained with cresyl violet (CV; by 56%) was partially counteracted by the FGF-2 treatment (by 26%). The behavioral analysis demonstrated an almost full recovery of the MPTP-induced reduction of the locomotor activity after FGF-2 treatment. This action was maintained also 1 week after cessation of treatment. The hrFGF-2 produced an astroglial reaction as determined in the lateral neostriatum and in the substantia nigra (SN) far from the site of the infusion, indicating that the growth factor may have reached these regions by diffusion to activate the astroglia. Immunocytochemistry revealed FGF-2 immunoreactivity (IR) in the nuclei of the astroglia cell population in the dorsomedial striatum and the microdensitometric and morphometric evaluation demonstrated an increase in the number, but not in the intensity, of these profiles on the cannulated side, suggesting the possibility that hrFGF-2 stimulates FGF-2 synthesis in astroglial cells with low endogenous FGF-2 IR. These results indicate that hrFGF-2, directly and/or indirectly via astroglia, upon i.v.t. infusion exerts trophic effects on the nigrostriatal DA system and may increase survival of nigrostriatal DA nerve cells exposed to the MPTP neurotoxin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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