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Development. 1993 Nov;119(3):559-65.

Ciliary neurotrophic factor maintains the pluripotentiality of embryonic stem cells.

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1
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Tarrytown, New York 10591.

Abstract

Ciliary neurotrophic factor was discovered based on its ability to support the survival of ciliary neurons, and is now known to act on a variety of neuronal and glial populations. Two distant relatives of ciliary neurotrophic factor, leukemia inhibitory factor and oncostatin M, mimic ciliary neurotrophic factor with respect to its actions on cells of the nervous system. In contrast to ciliary neurotrophic factor, leukemia inhibitory factor and oncostatin M also display a broad array of actions on cells outside of the nervous system. The overlapping activities of leukemia inhibitory factor, oncostatin M and ciliary neurotrophic factor can be attributed to shared receptor components. The specificity of ciliary neurotrophic factor for cells of the nervous system results from the restricted expression of the alpha component of the ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor complex, which is required to convert a functional leukemia inhibitory factor/oncostatin M receptor complex into a ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor complex. The recent observation that the alpha component of the ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor complex is expressed by very early neuronal precursors suggested that ciliary neurotrophic factor may act on even earlier precursors, particularly on cells previously thought to be targets for leukemia inhibitory factor action. Here we show the first example of ciliary neurotrophic factor responsiveness in cells residing outside of the nervous system by demonstrating that embryonic stem cells express a functional ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor complex, and that ciliary neurotrophic factor is similar to leukemia inhibitory factor in its ability to maintain the pluripotentiality of these cells.

PMID:
8187629
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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