Interferon-γ Promotes Differentiation of Neural Progenitor Cells via the JNK Pathway
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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.
KeywordsERK Inflammation Neurite outgrowth Neurogenesis
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
Epidermal growth factor
Basic fibroblast growth factor
Extracellular signal-regulated kinase
c-Jun N-terminal kinase
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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