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Neurotrophic Effect Of Hepatocyte Growth Factor On Neonatal Facial Motor Neurons

J. Koyama, K. Yokouchi, N. Fukushima, K. Kawagishi, F. Higashiyama, T. Moriizumi
Published 2003 · Medicine

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Abstract The neurotrophic effect of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) on axotomized facial motor neurons was examined after local application of HGF to the proximal facial nerve stump of the neonatal rat on post-natal day one (P1). Motor neuron survival was expressed as the neuronal cell count on the injured side as a percentage of that on the noninjured side. Motor neuron survival of the control group was 76% on P3, 54% on P5 and 23% on P8, that of the HGF-treated group 78% on P3, 69% on P5 and 31% on P8, and that of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-treated group 91% on P5 and 45% on P8. The motor neuron survival rates were then adjusted by deducting the facial motor neurons corresponding to the uninjured retroauricular branch (20%) of the facial nerve. The adjusted values were 70% (P3), 42% (P5) and 4% (P8) for the control group, 72% (P3), 61% (P5) and 14% (P8) for the HGF-treated group, and 88% (P5) and 32% (P8) for the BDNF-treated group. These findings demonstrate that HGF has a neuroprotective effect on injured facial motor neurons and suggest that HGF has neurotrophic properties distinct from those of BDNF.
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