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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords


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