A role for ciliary neurotrophic factor as an inducer of reactive gliosis, the glial response to central nervous system injury

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Jun 20;92(13):5865-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.92.13.5865.


Within the central nervous system (CNS) ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is expressed by astrocytes where it remains stored as an intracellular protein; its release and function as an extracellular ligand are thought to occur in the event of cellular injury. We find that overexpression of CNTF in transgenic mice recapitulates the glial response to CNS lesion, as does its injection into the uninjured brain. These results demonstrate that CNTF functions as an inducer of reactive gliosis, a condition associated with a number of neurological diseases of the CNS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / physiology*
  • Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Gene Expression
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / analysis
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / biosynthesis
  • Gliosis / chemically induced
  • Gliosis / pathology
  • Gliosis / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / analysis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nerve Degeneration* / drug effects
  • Nerve Growth Factors / biosynthesis
  • Nerve Growth Factors / pharmacology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism
  • Neurons, Afferent / pathology
  • Olfactory Bulb / metabolism
  • Olfactory Bulb / pathology
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology


  • Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins