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

Basic fibroblast growth factor promotes the generation and differentiation of calretinin neurons in the rat cerebral cortex in vitro.

Calretinin-expressing neurons are some of the earliest postmitotic cells to appear in the developing cerebral cortex. Lineage studies have shown that the expression of this calcium-binding protein in cortical neurons is not genetically programmed and is likely to be induced by external factors. A number of studies have clearly shown that basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and a number of neurotrophins promote the proliferation and differentiation of cortical progenitor cells to a particular lineage. Here, using a culture system of dissociated rat cortical cells, we found that brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 promoted the morphological differentiation of one of the calretinin-containing neuronal subpopulations, the Cajal-Retzius cells. Another subpopulation of calretinin- expressing cells of smaller size and bipolar form was generated when cultures were treated with bFGF. The progenitors of these neurons were stimulated by bFGF to divide a number of times before initiating their differentiation programme. The number of calretinin- expressing neurons increased further when cultures were treated with a combination of bFGF and retinoic acid.[1]


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