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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1994 Mar;22(1-4):1-8.

Increased basic fibroblast growth factor mRNA following contusive spinal cord injury.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Georgetown University, Medical School, Washington, DC 20007.


Neurotrophic factors appear to be crucial for the survival and potential regeneration of injured neurons. Injury of the peripheral nervous system results in the induction of a number of neurotrophic molecules. Less is known about the response of central nervous tissue to injury. We have examined changes in levels of mRNA for three trophic factors, basic and acidic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF, aFGF), and nerve growth factor (NGF), after a standardized incomplete thoracic contusive spinal cord injury (SCI). RNase protection assays showed a rapid increase (3-fold) in the content of bFGF mRNA by 6 hours after SCI in tissue that included the injury site. No effect of injury was seen in segments of cervical or lumbar cord. bFGF mRNA at the injury site remained significantly increased at 1 and 7 days after SCI. Further, at 7 days, the increase was anatomically restricted to the rostral portion of the injury site suggesting the involvement of specific pathways in the maintenance of high levels of bFGF mRNA. No change in the levels of aFGF mRNA was seen after SCI. Similarly, no difference in the expression of the mRNA for NGF or its high affinity receptor (trkA), were observed at 6 h, 1 or 7 days following SCI. Our observation of a specific effect of SCI on bFGF mRNA expression supports a speculative hypothesis that bFGF may play a role in the partial recovery of function seen following incomplete contusive spinal cord injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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