Nerve growth factor increases electrical activity of neural cells derived from murine bone marrow stromal cells.

OBJECTIVE: Nerve growth factor (NGF) triggers long-term neuronal excitability. We examined its effect on murine bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC)-derived neurons.

METHODS: With an optimal differentiation protocol, BMSCs were differentiated into neurons in culture. To confirm the probability of differentiation of BMSC into neuron, the expression of neuronal marker protein, neurofilament, was examined by immunocytochemistry. To examine the electrophysiological properties of BMSC-derived neurons, the field potentials were recorded either from nontreated (control) BMSC-derived neurons or from BMSC-derived neurons after the treatment with NGF by using extracellular recording techniques.

RESULTS: Most BMSC-derived neurons showed spontaneous discharges whose amplitudes were up to 2 mV. When NGF at a concentration of 100 ng/ml was applied to BMSC-derived neurons, the amplitudes of discrete field potentials were gradually enlarged within 1 min after NGF application and peaked 3 min later (20-fold the size of control). However, the enlargement of the amplitudes of field potentials almost disappeared 5 min after NGF application.

CONCLUSION: This finding indicates that neuronal cells derived from murine BMSCs generate discrete field potential activities spontaneously and that NGF has the effect of enlarging transient, but not sustained, electrical activity of BMSC-derived neurons.

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