Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 219, Issue 4, pp 1333–1342 | Cite as

Identification of tumor differentiation factor (TDF) in select CNS neurons

  • Alisa G. Woods
  • Izabela Sokolowska
  • Katrin Deinhardt
  • Cristinel Sandu
  • Costel C. Darie
Original Article


Identification of central nervous system (CNS) molecules elucidates normal and pathological brain function. Tumor differentiation factor (TDF) is a recently-found protein secreted by the pituitary into the blood. TDF mRNA was detected in brain; not heart, placenta, lung, liver, skeletal muscle, or pancreas. However, TDF has an unclear function. It is not known whether TDF is expressed only by pituitary or by other brain regions. It is also not known precisely where TDF is expressed in the brain or which cells produce TDF. Database searching revealed that this molecule shares no homology with any known protein. Therefore, we investigated the distribution of TDF in the rat brain using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF). TDF protein was detected in pituitary and most other brain regions. Double-staining for TDF and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), an astrocyte marker, showed no co-localization. Double-staining for TDF with NeuN, a neuronal marker, showed co-localization. Not all NeuN positive cells were positive for TDF. Western blotting (WB) using NG108 neuroblastoma and GS9L astrocytoma cell lysate revealed TDF immunoreactivity in cultured neuroblastoma, not astrocytoma. These data suggest that TDF is localized in neurons, not in astrocytes. This is the first report of any cellular localization of TDF. TDF may have specific roles as a pituitary-derived hormone and in the CNS, and appears to be produced by distinct CNS neurons, not astroglia.


Hormone Growth-factor Neurons CNS 



Tumor differentiation factor


TDF receptor


Central nervous system


Neuroblastoma × glioma cell line


Astrocytoma cell line


Glial fibrillary acidic protein


Neuron-specific DNA-binding nuclear protein which functions as a marker for neurons






Western blotting


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alisa G. Woods
    • 1
    • 5
  • Izabela Sokolowska
    • 1
  • Katrin Deinhardt
    • 2
    • 3
  • Cristinel Sandu
    • 4
  • Costel C. Darie
    • 1
  1. 1.Biochemistry and Proteomics Group, Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular ScienceClarkson UniversityPotsdamUSA
  2. 2.Centre for Biological SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.Institute for Life SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  4. 4.Howard Hughes Medical InstituteThe Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Neuropsychology Clinic and Psychoeducation ServicesSUNY PlattsburghPlattsburghUSA

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