Differential in vivo effects of neurturin and glial cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor

Michael R. Hoane, Amit G. Gulwadi, Sharon Morrison, Ginny Hovanesian, Mark D. Lindner, Weng Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and neurturin (NTN) are structurally homologous, and they seem to produce similar effects in vitro. Tissue distributions of their respective receptors, GFRα-1 and GFRα- 2, reveal overlapping but distinct patterns of expression, which implies that the in vivo actions of GDNF and NTN may be different. In the present study, a direct comparison of the in vivo effects of GDNF and NTN was performed using osmotic minipumps delivering either GDNF or NTN over a 30-day period into rat lateral cerebral ventricles. Amphetamine-induced activity levels were increased in both NTN- and GDNF-treated animals, with higher activity levels achieved by GDNF than NTN. The increase in amphetamine-induced activity levels persisted for 2 weeks and returned to control levels at the end of the third week. NTN-treated rats showed higher dopamine levels in the mediodorsal striatum, relative to the ventrolateral striatum. In contrast, no significant change in the regional distribution of dopamine levels was observed in GDNF treated or control animals. On the other hand, an increase in ventrolateral and mediodorsal striatal dopamine utilization was apparent in GDNF-treated animals, while NTN-treated animals showed increased levels of dopamine utilization only in the ventrolateral striatum. With respect to potential adverse effects, GDNF administration resulted in weight loss and the emergence of allodynia. No weight loss or allodynia was detectable with chronic NTN administration. These results suggest that although GDNF and NTN share structural and functional similarities, they may have differential effects in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-243
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Dopaminergic
  • GDNF
  • Neurturin
  • Receptor
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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