The capability of epidermal growth factor (EGF) to stimulate DNA synthesis in neural cells was investigated in primary cultures of early postnatal mouse cerebellum. At concentrations of 10 -8 M, EGF stimulates DNA synthesis in astrocytes, which were identified immunocytologically by the cell type-specific marker, glial fibrillary acidic (GFA) protein. Astrocytes express cell-surface receptors for EGF as can be shown by binding of ( 125 I)-labeled EGF to live monolayer cultures. In the presence of 10% horse serum, EGF stimulates DNA-synthesis by a factor of about two-fold. Stimulation by EGF over control values is approximately 4-fold in the presence of 1% serum and 6 to 10-fold in the absence of serum. Absolute numbers of astrocytes are increased after more prolonged action of EGF. DNA-synthesis in neurons or oligodendroglia is not significantly stimulated by EGF. EGF enhances cell survival of serum-deprived cerebellar cultures. Fibroblast growth factor does not increase DNA-synthesis in astrocytes under the conditions used in this study.
Cell and Tissue Research – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 1981
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