Persephin, a novel neurotrophic factor related to GDNF and neurturin

Neuron. 1998 Feb;20(2):245-53. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80453-5.


A novel neurotrophic factor named Persephin that is approximately 40% identical to glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and neurturin (NTN) has been identified using degenerate PCR. Persephin, like GDNF and NTN, promotes the survival of ventral midbrain dopaminergic neurons in culture and prevents their degeneration after 6-hydroxydopamine treatment in vivo. Persephin also supports the survival of motor neurons in culture and in vivo after sciatic nerve axotomy and, like GDNF, promotes ureteric bud branching. However, in contrast to GDNF and NTN, persephin does not support any of the peripheral neurons that were examined. Fibroblasts transfected with Ret and one of the coreceptors GFRalpha-1 or GFRalpha-2 do not respond to persephin, suggesting that persephin utilizes additional, or different, receptor components than GDNF and NTN.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Ganglia, Spinal / cytology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Humans
  • Mesencephalon / cytology
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Motor Neurons / chemistry*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Nerve Growth Factors / genetics*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / metabolism*
  • Neurturin
  • Nodose Ganglion / cytology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / physiology
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid / physiology
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Superior Cervical Ganglion / cytology
  • Transfection
  • Trigeminal Ganglion / cytology
  • Ureter / cytology
  • Ureter / embryology


  • GDNF protein, human
  • Gdnf protein, mouse
  • Gdnf protein, rat
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • NRTN protein, human
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Neurturin
  • Nrtn protein, mouse
  • Nrtn protein, rat
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • persephin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF040960
  • GENBANK/AF040961
  • GENBANK/AF040962