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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 Dec 11;865:92-9.

The neurotrophic activity of PACAP on rat cerebellar granule cells is associated with activation of the protein kinase A pathway and c-fos gene expression.

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European Institute for Peptide Research (IFRMP 23), Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neuroendocrinology, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U413, University of Rouen, Mont-Saint-Aignan, France.


In vitro studies have shown that PACAP promotes cell survival and neurite outgrowth in immature cerebellar granule cells. In the present study, we have examined the transduction pathways involved in the neurotrophic activity of PACAP. Incubation of cultured granule cells with graded concentrations of PACAP produced a dose-dependent increase in c-fos mRNA level. The effects of PACAP on c-fos gene expression and granule cell survival were both mimicked by dbcAMP but not by PMA. The maximum effect of PACAP on c-fos gene expression was observed after 1 h of treatment. Similar effects of the peptide on granule cell survival were observed whether the cells were continuously incubated with PACAP for 48 h or only exposed to PACAP during 1 h. The PKA inhibitor H89 significantly reduced the effect of PACAP on c-fos mRNA level, whereas the specific PKC inhibitor chelerytrine had no effect. These data indicate that the action of PACAP on cerebellar granule cell survival and c-fos gene expression are both mediated through the adenylyl cyclase/PKA pathway.

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