Nerve growth factor (NGF) is produced and secreted by astrocytes and fibroblasts, but not by microglia, in a primary non-neuronal cell culture derived from newborn rat brains under a standard culture condition. NGF secretion by astrocytes was highest just after passage and then gradually decreased. There is no significant difference in NGF secretion by astrocytes from five sites of origin tested: cerebral cortex, striatum, hippocampus, septum, and cerebrllum. Acidic and basic fibroblast growth factors (aFGF and bFGF) significantly increased NGF secretion by astrocytes. The effect of a FGG was greater than of the of FGF, and the effect of both FGFs ws not additive at the maximu m connentration. The peak of NGF secretion stimulated by aFGF ocuurred 3-12 h after the addition of aFGF. On the other hand, the dramatic increase in cell numbers was observed 12-48 h after stimulation, and the morphological change became significant 24 h after aFGF astimulation. NGF synthetized by astrocytes is rapidly secreted into the culture medium and aFGF enhances NGF secretion from the transcription level, because cycloheximide and actinomycin-D completely inhibited NGF secretion by astrocytes in the presence or absence of aFGF. Epidermal growth factor (EGF), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor-α (DNF-α) also increased NGF secretion by astrocytes to a certain extent. NGF secretion by astrocytes in the presence of a maximum dose of a FGF was enhanced by the addition of IL-1β or TNF-α, but not EGF. However, platelet-derived growth factor, interleukin-3, and interleukin-6 had no significant effects. FGFs also enhanced NGF secretion by fibroblasts derived from meninges, but not by microglia.
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