Neurons of the hippocampal formation express glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor messenger RNA in response to kainate-induced excitation

Neuroscience. 1994 Apr;59(4):791-5. doi: 10.1016/0306-4522(94)90284-4.


Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a novel member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily with potent trophic effects on dopamine neurons. Kainate-induced epileptic seizures have been shown to induce gene expression of trophic factors, particularly members of neurotrophin or fibroblast growth factor families, in the hippocampus. In this study, we examined the effects of kainate (12 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced epileptic seizures on the expression of the novel neurotrophic factor GDNF in the hippocampus. While GDNF messenger RNA was not detected during development or in normal adult rats in the hippocampus, kainate-induced epileptic seizures markedly increased GDNF messenger RNA in scattered neurons in the dentate granule layer 3 h after injection. Six hours after kainate almost all dentate granule cells and expressed GDNF messenger RNA. The increase in GDNF messenger RNA in the dentate granule layer returned almost to control levels 24 h after kainate; however, there was still expression of GDNF messenger RNA in the hilus/CA4 and also in pyramidal neurons in areas CA1-CA3. We conclude that GDNF messenger RNA is regulated, in part, via glutamate-mediated excitation and may play a role in long-lasting structural and/or functional reorganization in the hippocampal formation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Dizocilpine Maleate / pharmacology
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Hippocampus / cytology*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Kainic Acid / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Kainic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Kainic Acid / toxicity
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Growth Factors*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Seizures / metabolism*


  • Gdnf protein, rat
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Dizocilpine Maleate
  • Kainic Acid
  • Dopamine