Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract: The c-ret protooncogene encodes Ret, the functional tyrosine kinase receptor for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). K-252b, a known protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has been shown earlier to inhibit the trophic activity of brain-derived neurotrophic factor on dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons and nerve growth factor on basal forebrain cholinergic neurons while potentiating neurotrophin-3 activity on central cholinergic and peripheral sensory neurons and PC12 cells. We tested whether K-252b would modulate GDNF-induced differentiation in DAergic neuron cultures. Exposure to 1 ng/ml GDNF increased dopamine (DA) uptake 80% above control, whereas treatment with 5 µM K-252b decreased the efficacy of GDNF by 60%. Concentrations of GDNF of 〈100 pg/ml were completely inhibited, whereas concentrations of 〉100 pg/ml were moderately active, between 10 and 20% above control. In addition, K-252b shifted the ED50 from 20 to 200 pg/ml. GDNF treatment increased soma size and neurite outgrowth in tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive neurons. K-252b inhibited differentiation of these morphological parameters induced by GDNF. Furthermore, GDNF stimulated Ret autophosphorylation at maximal levels, whereas the inhibition of DA uptake and morphological differentiation by K-252b correlated with a significantly decreased level of Ret autophosphorylation. Therefore, K-252b is able to inhibit intracellular activities induced by GDNF on mesencephalic DAergic neurons.
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