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Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1995 Dec 21;90(1-2):92-101.

Trophic and protective actions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor on striatal DARPP-32-containing neurons in vitro.

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Department of Medical Cell Research, University of Lund, Sweden.


We have examined the effects of either brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the BB-isoform of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB), or a combination of these growth factors on the survival and the morphological development of embryonic striatal neurons grown under serum-free culture conditions. Striatal neurons were identified using immunocytochemistry for "dopamine- and adenosine 3':5'-monophosphate-regulated phosphoprotein with a molecular weight of 32 kilodalton" (DARPP-32). BDNF and PDGF-BB promoted the survival of DARPP-32-positive neurons, with the magnitude of their effects being comparable. A combination of these growth factors exerted no significant additive effects on cell survival. BDNF stimulated morphological differentiation of DARPP-32-containing neurons by increasing the length of neurites, the number of branching points on the neurites, and the soma area. By contrast, PDGF-BB increased the neurite length and the cell body area, but not the number of branching points. BDNF also protected striatal neurons from excitotoxicity induced by N-methyl-D-aspartate, whereas PDGF-BB had no effect under the same treatment conditions as those for BDNF. Thus, BDNF is trophic for striatal DARPP-32-containing neurons in vitro by enhancing the survival, morphological differentiation and resistance to excitotoxicity, and its mechanisms of action are probably different from those of PDGF-BB.

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