Detection of brain-derived neurotrophic factor-like activity in fibroblasts and Schwann cells: inhibition by antibodies to NGF

Neuron. 1991 Aug;7(2):265-75. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(91)90265-2.


mRNA coding for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been detected in cultured L929 fibroblasts, rat dermal fibroblasts, and sciatic nerve Schwann cells, as well as in rat skin. Medium conditioned by cultured fibroblasts and Schwann cells also stimulates neurite growth from retinal explants and promotes the survival in culture of BDNF-responsive sensory neurons; biological activity is abolished by antibodies raised against NGF. These results suggest that molecules with BDNF-like activity may be produced by cells in the peripheral nervous system and that the BDNF-like activity in fibroblasts and Schwann cells is derived from molecules immunologically related to NGF. In support of this concept, antibodies against NGF have been found to reduce the biological activity of recombinant BDNF in culture and to cross-react with BDNF on Western blots.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Antibodies / pharmacology*
  • Axons / drug effects
  • Axons / physiology
  • Blotting, Western
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Culture Media / pharmacology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Nerve Growth Factors / immunology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / immunology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons, Afferent / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Schwann Cells / metabolism*


  • Antibodies
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Culture Media
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger