Glial cell line-derived neutrotrophic factor and neurturin can act as paracrine growth factors stimulating DNA synthesis of Ret-expressing spermatogonia.

G. Viglietto, S. Dolci, P. Bruni, G. Baldassarre, L. Chiariotti, R. M. Melillo, G. Salvatore, G. Chiappetta, F. Sferratore, A. Fusco, M. Santoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and neurturin (NTN) are related growth factors which exert trophic effects on several neuronal populations and developing kidney. GDNF-family ligands interact with membrane receptors designated GFRalphas which, in turn, mediate stimulation of the Ret receptor tyrosine kinase. Here we show that Ret, GFRalpha-1 (the GDNF receptor), and GFRalpha-2 (the NTN receptor) are expressed by testicular germ cells, while GDNF and NTN are expressed by Sertoli cells. Both GDNF and NTN stimulate DNA synthesis in spermatogonia. Furthermore, Ret, ligands and co-receptors are expressed in germ cell tumors. Thus, GDNF-family ligands may act as paracrine factors in spermatogenesis and this circuit may be active in germ cell tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-694
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Volume16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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