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J Comp Neurol. 1996 Jun 10;369(4):543-51.

Ciliary neurotrophic factor stimulates the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein by brain astrocytes in vivo.

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1
Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

Abstract

Ciliary neurotrophic factor is a cytokine that has effects on neuronal survival and phenotype in vitro and in vivo. Ciliary neurotrophic factor has also been shown to have effects on microglia and oligodendrocytes in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we demonstrate in vivo effects of ciliary neurotrophic factor on astrocytes in both the injured and uninjured central nervous system. Ciliary neurotrophic factor increases the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein and induces concomitant morphological changes in central nervous system astrocytes. Messenger RNA for both ciliary neurotrophic factor and the alpha-component of the ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor is demonstrated in the optic nerve, an essentially pure population of central nervous system glia. We also report here that the promoter region of the glial fibrillary acidic protein gene contains sequences thought to confer direct ciliary neurotrophic factor modulation of glial fibrillary acidic protein gene transcription. Although it is thought that astrocytes are a source of endogenous ciliary neurotrophic factor in the central nervous system and that neurons express the alpha-component of the ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor, the results of the present investigation suggest that astrocytes themselves respond to ciliary neurotrophic factor and that ciliary neurotrophic factor may also be important in glial cell-cell interactions.

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