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Triodothyronine enhancement of neuronal differentiation in aggregating fetal rat brain cells cultured in a chemically defined medium.
Triiodothyronine (30 nM) added to serum-free cultures of mechanically dissociated re-aggregating fetal (15-16 days gestation) rat brain cells greatly increased the enzymatic activity of choline acetyltransferase and acetylcholinesterase throughout the entire culture period (33 days), and markedly accelerated the developmental rise of glutamic acid decarboxylase specific activity. The enhancement of choline acetyltransferase and acetylcholinesterase specific activities in the presence of triiodothyronine was even more pronouned in cultures of telencephalic cells. If triiodothyronine treatment was restricted to the first 17 culture days, the level of choline acetyltransferase specific activity at day 33 was 84% of that in chronically treated cultures and 270% of that in cultures receiving triiodothyronine between days 17 and 33, indicating that relatively undifferentiated cells were more responsive to the hormone. Triiodothyronine had no apparent effect on the incorporation of [3H]thymidine at day 5 or on the total DNA content of cultures, suggesting that cellular differentiation, rather than proliferation was affected by the hormone. Our findings in vitro are in good agreement with many observations in vivo, suggesting that rotation-mediated aggregating cell cultures of fetal rat brain provide a useful model to study thyroid hormone action in the developing brain.
Acetylcholinesterase/metabolism, Animals, Brain/drug effects, Brain/physiology, Cell Aggregation/drug effects, Cells, Cultured, Choline O-Acetyltransferase/metabolism, Female, Fetus, Glutamate Decarboxylase/metabolism, Kinetics, Nerve Tissue Proteins/metabolism, Neurons/drug effects, Neurons/physiology, Pregnancy, Rats, Triiodothyronine/pharmacology
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