Carroll, P. and Sendtner, M. and Meyer, Michael and Thoenen, Hans
Rat ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF). Gene structure and regulation of mRNA levels in glial cell cultures.
In: Glia, Vol. 9, No. 3: pp. 176-187
The structure of the rat ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) gene and the regulation of CNTF mRNA levels in cultured glial cells were investigated. The rat mRNA is encoded by a simple two-exon transcription unit. Sequence analysis of the region upstream of the transcription start-site did not reveal a typical TATA-box consensus sequence. Low levels of CNTF mRNA were detected in cultured Schwann cells, and CNTF mRNA was not increased by a variety of treatments. Three-week-old astrocyte-enriched cell cultures from new-born rat brain contained easily detectable CNTF mRNA. In astrocyte-enriched cultures, upregulation of CNTF mRNA levels was observed after treatment with IFN-. CNTF mRNA levels were down-regulated in these cells by treatments that elevate intracellular cyclic AMP and by members of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family. The implications of these results for potential in vivo functions of CNTF are discussed