Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Exogenously administrated acidic FGF modulates the proliferation of several cell types, controls cell differentiation, and promotes cell survival. Most cells that are sensitive to exogenous aFGF are also capable of expressing it at very low levels. Thus in order to establish the role of endogenous aFGF as a mitogenic, differentiation, or survival factor, we studied the regulation of aFGF expression by evaluating the level of mRNA by PCR amplification and the concentration of protein by Enzyme Immuno Assay (EIA). In the lens, the amount of aFGF transcripts in nondividing cells of the central epithelium and in the differentiated fiber cells located at the periphery of the lens is similar, suggesting that endogenous aFGF is not involved with lens differentiation. In cultures, depending on the growth conditions, the endogenous aFGF expressed by Bovine Epithelial Lens (BEL) cells is sub ect to modulation. Cells arrested either by contact inhibition or by serum deprivation express more aFGF transcripts and protein than in exponentially growing cells, implying that endogenous aFGF has no mitogenic role under these conditions. In serum-deprived cells, the addition of specific aFGF antisense primers inhibits endogenous aFGF express on and leads to the death of these cells. These results associated with the higher expression of aFGF in nondividing BEL cells, suggesting that, contrary to exogenous aFGF, endogenous aFGF is not a mitogenic factor but a survival factor.
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