Acceleration of Methylmercury-induced Cell Death of Rat Cerebellar Neurons by Brain-Derived Neurotrophic FactorIn Vitro.
Brain Res. 2009 Mar 27;
Authors: Sakaue M, Mori N, Makita M, Fujishima K, Hara S, Arishima K, Yamamoto M
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a member of the nerve growth factor (NGF) family and has been shown to promote neuronal survival and contribute to neural development. Although methylmercury, a neurotoxin, induces the cell death of neurons in vitro, there is little information regarding the effects of neurotrophins on the methylmercury-induced cell death of neurons. In the present study, we investigated the effect of BDNF on methylmercury-induced cell death in a primary culture of rat cerebellar granular cells. BDNF increased the viability of the cultured cells when treated alone, but unexpectedly accelerated the cell death induced by administration of methylmercury. Among other growth factors tested, only neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) demonstrated a similar acceleration of methylmercury-induced cell death. The cell death-accelerating effect of BDNF was inhibited by a BDNF-neutralizing antibody or a MAPK inhibitor. To determine whether the effect of BDNF occurs via TrkB, a receptor of BDNF and NT-4, we investigated the effects of BDNF and methylmercury in a TrkB transformant of rat neuroblastoma B35 cells. The methylmercury-induced cell death of the TrkB transformant was accelerated by BDNF, while that of the mock transformant was not. These results indicate that BDNF accelerates methylmercury-induced cell death via TrkB, at least in vitro, and suggest that BDNF and TrkB may also contribute to the sensitivity of neurons to methylmercury toxicity.
PMID: 19332029 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]