Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 538–551 | Cite as

Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor (bFGF) Facilitates Differentiation of Adult Dorsal Root Ganglia-Derived Neural Stem Cells Toward Schwann Cells by Binding to FGFR-1 Through MAPK/ERK Activation

  • Yun Gu
  • Chenbin Xue
  • Jianbin Zhu
  • Hualin Sun
  • Fei Ding
  • Zheng CaoEmail author
  • Xiaosong GuEmail author


Considerable research has been devoted to unraveling the regulation of neural stem cell (NSC) differentiation. The responses of NSCs to various differentiation-inducing stimuli, however, are still difficult to estimate. In this study, we aimed to search for a potent growth factor that was able to effectively induce differentiation of NSCs toward Schwann cells. NSCs were isolated from dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) of adult rats and identified by immunostaining. Three different growth factors were used to stimulate the differentiation of DRG-derived NSCs (DRG-NSCs). We found that among these three growth factors, bFGF was the strongest inducer for the glial differentiation of DRG-NSCs, and bFGF induced the generation of an increased number of Schwann cell-like cells as compared to nerve growth factor (NGF) and neuregulin1-β (NRG). These Schwann cell-like cells demonstrated the same characteristics as those of primary Schwann cells. Furthermore, we noted that bFGF-induced differentiation of DRG-NSCs toward Schwann cells might be mediated by binding to fibroblast growth factor receptor-1 (FGFR-1) through activation of MAPK/ERK signal pathway.


Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) Dorsal root ganglia neural stem cells (DRG-NSCs) Schwann cells (SCs) Differentiation Fibroblast growth factor receptor-1 (FGFR-1) MAPK/ERK signal pathway 



This work was supported by the National Key Basic Research Program of China (973 program, Grant no. 2014CB542202), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant nos. 81130080, 81073079, and 81200932), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu province (Grant no. BK2012658), the Basic Research Program of Jiangsu Education Department (Grant No. 12KJD180005), and a Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD). The authors thank Professor Jie Liu for helping with the preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of NeuroregenerationNantong UniversityNantongPeople’s Republic of China

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