CNTF protection of oligodendrocytes against natural and tumor necrosis factor-induced death

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Science  29 Jan 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5095, pp. 689-692
DOI: 10.1126/science.8430320


A proportion of developing oligodendrocytes undergo natural cell death by apoptosis, and mature oligodendrocytes die, either by apoptosis or necrosis, in response to injurious signals such as cytotoxic cytokines and complement. Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), a trophic factor found in astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS), promoted the survival and maturation of cultured oligodendrocytes. This trophic factor also protected oligodendrocytes from death induced by tumor necrosis factors (apoptosis) but not against complement (necrosis). These results suggest that CNTF functions in the survival of oligodendrocytes during development and may lead to therapeutic approaches for degenerative diseases of the CNS that involve oligodendrocyte destruction.

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