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Neuron. 1993 Mar;10(3):369-77.

Evidence that fibroblast growth factor 5 is a major muscle-derived survival factor for cultured spinal motoneurons.

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Department of Neurochemistry, Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry, Planegg-Martinsried, Germany.


We examined the potential role of fibroblast growth factor 5 (FGF-5) as a target-derived trophic factor for spinal motoneurons. Northern analysis of total RNA from rat skeletal muscle revealed an FGF-5 mRNA transcript both during the period of embryonic motoneuron death and in the adult. Recombinant human FGF-5 supported the survival of highly enriched cultures of embryonic chick motoneurons. Significant proportions of the motoneuron survival activity of rat skeletal muscle extracts could be immunoprecipitated using an antiserum to FGF-5. The immunoprecipitable activity was present in soluble and matrix-bound forms in embryonic muscle, but bound exclusively to the extracellular matrix in adult muscle. These results, along with the secretory nature of FGF-5, suggest that FGF-5 may act as a target-derived trophic factor for motoneurons.

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