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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Developmental regulation of the serotonergic transmitter phenotype in rostral and caudal raphe neurons by transforming growth factor-betas.

Serotonergic (5-HT) neurons of the CNS develop as two separate clusters, a rostral and a caudal group, within the brain stem raphe. We show here that the transforming growth factors -beta2 and -beta3 (TGF-beta) and the TGF-beta type II receptor are expressed in the embryonic rat raphe, when 5-HT neurons develop and differentiate. To investigate putative roles of TGF-betas in the regulation of 5-HT neuron development we have generated serum-free cultures isolated either from the rostral or the caudal embryonic rat raphe, respectively. In cultures from the caudal E14 raphe saturating concentrations (5 ng/ml) of TGF-beta2 and -beta3 augmented numbers of tryptophan hydroxylase (TpOH) -immunoreactive neurons and cells specifically taking up 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) by about 1.7-fold over a period of 4 days. Treatment with TGF-betas also increased uptake of 3H-5HT uptake about 1.7-fold. Alterations in 5-HT neuron numbers were due to the induction of serotonergic markers rather than increased survival, as shown by the efficacy of delayed short-term treatments. Comparing rostral and caudal raphe cultures from different embryonic ages suggests that distinct effects of TGF-betas reflect the responsiveness of 5-HT neurons at different ages rather than of different origins.[1]


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