Delivery of human fibroblast growth factor-1 gene to brain by modified rat brain endothelial cells

P. Johnston, M. Nam, M. A. Hossain, R. R. Indurti, J. L. Mankowski, M. A. Wilson, J. Laterra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) is an endothelial cell mitogen and serves as a mitogen and/or differentiating factor that can be neuroprotective for other cell types within the CNS. We established brain microvascular endothelial cell lines that secrete FGF-1 with the ultimate goal of examining their usefulness as a cellular platform for FGF gene delivery to brain. A chimeric gene consisting of the secretory sequence of FGF-4 linked at the 5' end of human FGF-1 (sp-hst/KS3:FGF-1) was transfected into rat microvascular endothelial cells previously altered to express the lacZ reporter gene (RBEZ), and numerous clones were found to secrete FGF-1 (RBEZ-FGF). Immunoblotting of conditioned medium demonstrated an 18-kDa protein corresponding to FGF-1. Conditioned medium from RBEZ-FGF cells enhanced [3H]thymidine incorporation in BALB/c3T3 fibroblasts by up to sevenfold when compared with conditioned medium of control cell lines, corresponding to as much as 110 ng of active FGF-1/mg of cell protein/24 h. RBEZ-FGF cell lines remained contact-inhibited and proliferated independent of exogenous endothelial mitogens, in contrast to control lines that are mitogen- dependent. Incubation of PC12 cells with RBEZ-FGF cells or their conditioned medium induced neurite outgrowth by PC12 cells. RBEZ-FGF cells survived following implantation to neonatal and adult rat caudate-putamen for at least 21 days based on 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl β-D-galactopyranoside (X-gal) histochemistry, and FGF-1 gene expression by these cells in vivo was demonstrated by in situ hybridization and reverse transcriptase-PCR. These findings suggest that endothelial cells may be useful for FGF gene delivery to the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1643-1652
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996


  • Cell implantation
  • Gene therapy
  • Neurotrophic factors
  • PC12 cells
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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