- Persistent expression of BMP-4 in embryonic chick adrenal cortical cells and its role in chromaffin cell development (2008)
- Background Adrenal chromaffin cells and sympathetic neurons both originate from the neural crest, yet signals that trigger chromaffin development remain elusive. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) emanating from the dorsal aorta are important signals for the induction of a sympathoadrenal catecholaminergic cell fate. Results We report here that BMP-4 is also expressed by adrenal cortical cells throughout chick embryonic development, suggesting a putative role in chromaffin cell development. Moreover, bone morphogenetic protein receptor IA is expressed by both cortical and chromaffin cells. Inhibiting BMP-4 with noggin prevents the increase in the number of tyrosine hydroxylase positive cells in adrenal explants without affecting cell proliferation. Hence, adrenal BMP-4 is likely to induce tyrosine hydroxylase in sympathoadrenal progenitors. To investigate whether persistent BMP-4 exposure is able to induce chromaffin traits in sympathetic ganglia, we locally grafted BMP-4 overexpressing cells next to sympathetic ganglia. Embryonic day 8 chick sympathetic ganglia, in addition to principal neurons, contain about 25% chromaffin-like cells. Ectopic BMP-4 did not increase this proportion, yet numbers and sizes of "chromaffin" granules were significantly increased. Conclusions BMP-4 may serve to promote specific chromaffin traits, but is not sufficient to convert sympathetic neurons into a chromaffin phenotype.
- Enlarged infarct volume and loss of BDNF mRNA induction following brain ischemia in mice lacking FGF-2 (2004)
- FGF-2, a potent multifunctional and neurotrophic growth factor, is widely expressed in the brain and upregulated in cerebral ischemia. Previous studies have shown that intraventricularly or systemically administered FGF-2 reduces the size of cerebral infarcts. Whether endogenous FGF-2 is beneficial for the outcome of cerebral ischemia has not been investigated. We have used mice with a null mutation of the fgf2 gene to explore the relevance of endogenous FGF-2 in brain ischemia. Focal cerebral ischemia was produced by occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCAO). We found a 75% increase in infarct volume in fgf2 knock-out mice versus wild type littermates (P < 0.05). This difference in the extent of ischemic damage was observed after 24 h, and correlated with decreased viability in fgf2 mutant mice following MCA occlusion. Increased infarct volume in fgf2 null mice was associated with a loss of induction in hippocampal BDNF and trkB mRNA expression. These findings indicate that signaling through trkB may contribute to ameliorating brain damage following ischemia and that bdnf and trkB may be target genes of FGF-2. Together, our data provide the first evidence that endogenous FGF-2 is important in coping with ischemic brain damage suggesting fgf2 as one crucial target gene for new therapeutic strategies in brain ischemia.