GDNF promotes the survival and differentiation of dopaminergic neurons in culture, and is able to prevent apoptosis of motor neurons induced by axotomy. The encoded protein is processed to a mature secreted form that exists as a homodimer. The mature form of the protein is a ligand for the product of the RET (rearranged during transfection) protooncogene. In addition to the transcript encoding GDNF, two additional alternative transcripts encoding distinct proteins, referred to as astrocyte-derived trophic factors, have also been described. Mutations in this gene may be associated with Hirschsprung disease. GDNF enhances survival and morphological differentiation of dopaminergic neurons and increases their high-affinity dopamine uptake.
1. Glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) prevents ethanol (EtOH) induced B92 glial cell death by both PI3K/AKT and MEK/ERK signaling pathways. Brain Res Bull 2006 Dec 11;71(1-3):116-26
2. Glial-derived neurotrophic factor modulates enteric neuronal survival and proliferation through neuropeptide Y. Gastroenterology 2006 Oct;131(4):1164-78
3. MRI volumetric and intensity analysis of the cerebellum in Parkinson's disease patients infused with glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF).Exp Neurol 2006 Apr;198(2):450-6
4. Ischemia-related changes of glial-derived neurotrophic factor and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in the hippocampus: their possible correlation in astrocytes. Brain Res 2006 Feb 9;1072(1):215-23
5. Delivery of sonic hedgehog or glial derived neurotrophic factor to dopamine-rich grafts in a rat model of Parkinson's disease using adenoviral vectors Increased yield of dopamine cells is dependent on embryonic donor age. Brain Res Bull 2005 Dec 15;68(1-2):31-41
6. Effects of fibroblast growth factor and glial-derived neurotrophic factor on akinesia, F-DOPA uptake and dopamine cells in parkinsonian primates.Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2002 Jun;8(5):311-23.
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