, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 1-10

Increase of basic fibroblast growth factor immunoreactivity and its mRNA level in rat brain following transient forebrain ischemia

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We examined the time course of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) immunoreactivity and its mRNA level mainly in the hippocampus after transient forebrain ischemia using immunohistochemistry, enzyme immunoassay (EIA), Western blot analysis and in situ hybridization. Neuronal death in the hippocampal CA1 subfield was observed 72 h after 20 min of ischemia. The number of bFGF-immunoreactive(IR) cells increased 48 h–5 days after ischemia in all hippocampal regions. At 10 and 30 days, the bFGF-IR cells in the CA1 subfield had further increased in numbers and altered their morphology, enlarging and turning into typical reactive astrocytes with the advancing neuronal death in that area. In contrast, the number of bFGF-IR cells in other hippocampal regions had decreased 30 days after ischemia. The EIA study showed a drastic increase in bFGF levels in the hippocampus 48 h after ischemia (150% of that in normal rat) which was followed by further increases. In Western blot analysis, three immunoreactive bands whose molecular weights correspond to 18, 22 and 24 kDa were observed in normal rat and ischemia increased all their immunoreactivities. In the in situ hybridization study of the hippocampus, bFGF mRNA positive cells were observed in the CA1 subfield in which many bFGF-IR cells existed after ischemia. These data demonstrate that transient forebrain ischemia leads to an early and strong induction of bFGF synthesis in astrocytes, suggesting that the role of bFGF is related to the function of the reactive astrocytes which appear following brain injury.