Neurochemical Research

, Volume 32, Issue 8, pp 1399–1406 | Cite as

Interferon-γ Promotes Differentiation of Neural Progenitor Cells via the JNK Pathway

  • So Jung Kim
  • Tae Gen Son
  • Keunho Kim
  • Hee Ra Park
  • Mark P. Mattson
  • Jaewon Lee
Original Paper


It has been reported that interferon-γ (IFN-γ) facilitates differentiation of PC-12 cells and murine adult neural stem cells. Here we show that IFN-γ promotes the differentiation of C17.2 neural progenitor cells (NPC) into a neuronal phenotype characterized by neurite outgrowth and the expression of the neuronal marker protein β-III tubulin. IFN-γ induced an increase in the activity c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) without affecting activities of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs 1 and 2). An inhibitor of JNK blocked the ability of IFN-γ to promote differentiation of NPC into neurons, whereas an inhibitor of ERKs 1 and 2 did not. Our findings show that the pro-inflammatory cytokine, IFN-γ has the potential to stimulate neurogenesis, suggesting roles for this cytokine in development and repair of the nervous system.


ERK Inflammation Neurite outgrowth Neurogenesis 



Brain-derived neurotrophic factor


Epidermal growth factor


Basic fibroblast growth factor




Mitogen-activated protein


Extracellular signal-regulated kinase


c-Jun N-terminal kinase


Dietary restriction



This study was supported by grant number 105075–3 from the Technology Development Program for Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Republic of Korea. This work was also supported by the Brain Korea 21 Project in 2006, and the National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program of the NIH.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • So Jung Kim
    • 1
  • Tae Gen Son
    • 1
  • Keunho Kim
    • 1
  • Hee Ra Park
    • 1
  • Mark P. Mattson
    • 2
  • Jaewon Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy and Research Institute for Drug Development, Longevity Life Science and Technology InstitutesPusan National UniversityBusanKorea
  2. 2.Laboratory of NeurosciencesNational Institute on Aging Intramural Research ProgramBaltimoreUSA

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