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Induction and Maintenance of the Neuronal Cholinergic Phenotype in the Central Nervous System by BMP-9

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Science  14 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5477, pp. 313-316
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5477.313

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Abstract

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have multiple functions in the developing nervous system. A member of this family, BMP-9, was found to be highly expressed in the embryonic mouse septum and spinal cord, indicating a possible role in regulating the cholinergic phenotype. In cultured neurons, BMP-9 directly induced the expression of the cholinergic gene locus encoding choline acetyltransferase and the vesicular acetylcholine transporter and up-regulated acetylcholine synthesis. The effect was reversed upon withdrawal of BMP-9. Intracerebroventricular injection of BMP-9 increased acetylcholine levels in vivo. Although certain other BMPs also up-regulated the cholinergic phenotype in vitro, they were less effective than BMP-9. These data indicate that BMP-9 is a differentiating factor for cholinergic central nervous system neurons.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jbluszta{at}bu.edu

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