Embryonic expression of glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) suggests multiple developmental roles in neural differentiation and epithelial-mesenchymal interactions

Mech Dev. 1996 Jan;54(1):95-105. doi: 10.1016/0925-4773(95)00464-5.


We describe the cloning of the mouse glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) gene and its expression during embryogenesis. GDNF is a distant member of the superfamily of TGF-beta related genes that was originally identified on the basis of its striking neurotrophic activity. GDNF is expressed in a highly dynamic pattern in the anterior neuroectoderm during early stages of neurogenesis between E7.5 and E10.5. Beginning at E10.5 GDNF is also expressed in several organs that develop through inductive epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. In those organs, GDNF expression is strictly confined to mesenchymal tissues and is not found in epithelia. Our results suggest multiple roles for GDNF during early stages of neuronal development and in epithelial-mesenchymal interactions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Branchial Region / embryology
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Survival
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Digestive System / embryology
  • Digestive System / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Ectoderm / metabolism*
  • Epithelium / metabolism*
  • Extremities / embryology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genes*
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Head / embryology
  • Humans
  • Mesoderm / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Morphogenesis
  • Multigene Family
  • Nerve Growth Factors*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Nervous System / embryology*
  • Nervous System / metabolism
  • Neurons / classification
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Rats
  • Ribs / embryology
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • GDNF protein, human
  • Gdnf protein, mouse
  • Gdnf protein, rat
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Dopamine

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U36449