Epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulation of cultured brain cells. I. Enhancement of the developmental increase in glial enzymatic activity

Brain Res. 1983 Dec;313(2):245-51. doi: 10.1016/0165-3806(83)90222-5.


Serum-free aggregating cell cultures of fetal rat telencephalon grown in the presence of 3 ng/ml (5 X 10(-10) M) epidermal growth factor (EGF) until day 12 showed 2- to 3-fold increased activities in the two glial enzymes, glutamine synthetase (GLU-S) and 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphohydrolase (CNPase). This effect was concentration-dependent, with maximal stimulation in cultures treated daily with 3 ng/ml EGF. Addition of EGF during the first 10 culture days was sufficient to produce a maximal stimulation of both GLU-S and CNPase on day 19, whereas treatments starting on day 12 were ineffective. The stimulation of GLU-S preceded that of CNPase. The EGF-induced increase in GLU-S activity was not directly dependent on the presence of insulin, triiodothyronine, or hydrocortisone in the medium, whereas insulin was required for the stimulation of CNPase. A single dose of 5 ng/ml EGF on day 2 caused a slight but significant decrease in DNA synthesis after day 6. The present results indicate that in serum-free aggregating cell cultures of fetal rat telencephalon EGF partially inhibits DNA synthesis, and stimulates an early step in glial differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2',3'-Cyclic Nucleotide 3'-Phosphodiesterase
  • 2',3'-Cyclic-Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Aggregation
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • Fetus
  • Glutamate-Ammonia Ligase / metabolism*
  • Neuroglia / enzymology*
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Telencephalon / drug effects*


  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • DNA
  • 2',3'-Cyclic-Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • 2',3'-Cyclic Nucleotide 3'-Phosphodiesterase
  • Cnp protein, rat
  • Glutamate-Ammonia Ligase