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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 1998;105(8-9):905-14.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protects cultured rat cerebellar granule neurons against glucose deprivation-induced apoptosis.

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Department of Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77555-0652, USA.


In the present study, cell death induced by glucose deprivation in primary cultures of cerebellar granule neurons was examined. Glucose deprivation-induced apoptotic cell death was demonstrated using the terminal transferase-mediated (TdT) deoxyuridine triphosphate (d-UTP)-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) method and DNA fragmentation assays. When the effects of different neurotrophins on the survival of cerebellar granule neurons after glucose deprivation were assessed, BDNF, but not NT-3 or NGF, was found to protect cerebellar granule neurons against glucose deprivation-induced cell death. In addition, BDNF treatment increased c-Fos immunoreactivity in the cerebellar granule neurons. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that neuronal death due to glucose deprivation has a significant apoptotic component and that neurotrophins can protect against hypoglycemic damage.

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