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

Glial-cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor induces nerve fibre formation in primary cultures of adrenal chromaffin cells.

Neurotrophic factors, such as nerve growth factor (NGF), have been shown to promote the differentiation of neural crest neuroblasts into sympathetic neurons, whereas glucocorticoids promote the endocrine phenotype of adrenal medullary chromaffin cells. This pluripotency is preserved to some extent in adult chromaffin cells, with NGF and other neurotrophic factors influencing the differentiation of these cells. In this study, the effects of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) on explanted chromaffin tissue have been investigated. The localization of mRNAs corresponding to the two components of the GDNF receptor, GDNF family receptor alpha 1 (GFRalpha1) and Ret, were demonstrated in adult adrenal medullary ganglion cells. GFRalpha1 mRNA was expressed in explanted chromaffin tissue at levels dependent on the presence of serum in the medium but decreased on the addition of blocking antibodies against transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta). However, TGFbeta1 (1 ng/ml) did not upregulate GFRalpha1 mRNA expression when added to serum-free medium. GDNF induced neurite formation from chromaffin cells, as measured by the ratio of neurite-bearing versus total number of chromaffin cells in primary cultures of adult adrenal medulla. The most potent dose inducing neurites from chromaffin cells was 100 ng/ml GDNF. However, this dose was not as efficient as that seen when chromaffin cells were stimulated with NGF (100 ng/ml). Thus, adrenal medullary cells express mRNAs for the GDNF receptor components Ret and GFRalpha1, increase their expression upon being cultured in serum-containing medium and respond to GDNF treatment with an increase in the number of cells that develop nerve processes.[1]


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