Increased expression of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) following focal cerebral infarction in the rat

Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1996 Jul;39(1-2):31-42. doi: 10.1016/0169-328x(95)00351-r.


Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is a polypeptide with potent trophic effects on brain neurons, glia, and endothelial cells. In the current study, we used Northern blotting, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemical techniques to examine bFGF expression in brain following focal infarction due to permanent occlusion of the proximal middle cerebral artery in mature Sprague-Dawley rats. We found a four-fold increase in bFGF mRNA in tissue surrounding focal infarcts at 1 day after ischemia. In situ hybridization showed that this increase was found throughout several structures in the ipsilateral hemisphere, including frontoparietal, temporal, and cingulate cortex, as well as in caudoputamen, globus pallidus, septal nuclei, nucleus accumbens, and olfactory tubercle. Increased bFGF mRNA expression was associated with cells having the distinct morphological appearance of astroglia in these structures. Immunohistochemistry showed an increase in the size and number of bFGF-immunoreactive (IR) nuclei in these same structures, as well as a shift from nuclear to nuclear plus cytoplasmic localization of immunoreactivity, beginning at 1 day, and peaking at 3 days after ischemia. Double immunostaining identified bFGF-IR cells as astroglia in these structures. (An exception was the piriform cortex, in which both increased bFGF mRNA levels and increased bFGF-IR was found in neurons at 1 day after ischemia). Overall, the peak of increased bFGF expression preceded the peak in expression of the astroglial marker GFAP within the ipsilateral hemisphere. Increased bFGF expression may play an important role in the glial, neuronal, and vascular changes occurring after focal infarction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Count
  • Cerebral Infarction / metabolism*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2