Potentiated necrosis of cultured cortical neurons by neurotrophins

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Science  28 Apr 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5210, pp. 573-575
DOI: 10.1126/science.7725105


The effects of neurotrophins on several forms of neuronal degeneration in murine cortical cell cultures were examined. Consistent with other studies, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin-3, and neurotrophin-4/5 all attenuated the apoptotic death induced by serum deprivation or exposure to the calcium channel antagonist nimodipine. Unexpectedly, however, 24-hour pretreatment with these same neurotrophins markedly potentiated the necrotic death induced by exposure to oxygen-glucose deprivation or N-methyl-D-aspartate. Thus, certain neurotrophins may have opposing effects on different types of death in the same neurons.