The neurotrophins BDNF, NT-3 and NT-4/5 promote survival and morphological and biochemical differentiation of striatal neurons in vitro

Eur J Neurosci. 1995 Feb 1;7(2):213-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.1995.tb01057.x.


The neurotrophins, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), neurotrophin 4/5 (NT-4/5) and nerve growth factor (NGF), were compared for their effects on the survival and differentiation of embryonic rat striatal neurons grown in low-density cultures. Treatment with BDNF for 8 days resulted in a 40% increase in overall neuronal survival, a 3- to 5-fold increase in the number of calbindin-immunoreactive neurons, and an 80% increase in GABA-positive neurons. Treatment with NT-3 or NT-4/5 produced a 2- to 3-fold increase in the number of calbindin-positive neurons and an increase in GABA-positive cell number similar to that induced by BDNF, BDNF treatment produced a striking morphological differentiation of striatal GABAergic neurons, which was characterized by a doubling of the number of neurite branch points, the total area of aborization and the perikaryal area compared to control cultures. All three of these factors increased high-affinity GABA uptake 2-fold. NGF had no effect on any of the parameters examined. Our results show that BDNF, NT-3 and NT-4/5 promote the survival and/or differentiation of calbindin-immunopositive and GABAergic striatal neurons.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Calbindins
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Corpus Striatum / chemistry
  • Corpus Striatum / cytology
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Nerve Growth Factors / pharmacology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / pharmacology
  • Neurons / chemistry
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Neurotrophin 3
  • Phenotype
  • Rats
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / analysis


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Calbindins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neurotrophin 3
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • neurotrophin 5
  • neurotrophin 4