Specific effects of platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) on fetal rat and human dopaminergic neurons in vitro

A Othberg, P Odin, A Ballagi, A Ahgren, K Funa, O Lindvall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The neurotrophic effects of the BB isoform of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) on rat and human fetal mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons have been characterized in vitro. A dose-response analysis demonstrated maximal responses at 30 ng/ml of PDGF-BB. This concentration resulted in a marked increase in the survival and neurite outgrowth from rat and human tyrosine hydroxylase-(TH) positive, presumed dopaminergic neurons after 7 days in vitro. The effects of PDGF-BB on survival of TH-positive neurons were comparable to those of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), whereas neurite outgrowth was more pronounced after addition of BDNF. The combination of BDNF and PDGF-BB yielded no additive effects. Double immunohistochemical staining of rat cultures demonstrated PDGF beta-receptors on about 90% of the TH-positive neurons. PDGF-BB treatment of rat mesencephalic cultures induced an upregulation of c-fos and TH mRNA with maximal levels after 0.5-2 h as assessed by quantitative PCR analysis. An increased number of Fos protein-positive cells was detected immunohistochemically after 4 h of PDGF-BB treatment. The present results provide further evidence for specific and direct effects of PDGF-BB on gene expression, survival and neurite outgrowth of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons of rat and human origin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-22
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dopamine
  • Fetus
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Neurons
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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