In vitro investigation of growth factors including MGF and IGF-1 in neural stem cell activation, proliferation, and migration

Burcu Sarya Tunç, Fatih Toprak, Selin Fulya Toprak, Selcuk Sozer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Neurogenesis is mainly activated after damage in adult tissues. This destruction activates the neural stem cells (NSCs) by exiting from a quiescent state and initiating proliferation, differentiation, and migration towards the damaged area. Although studies have investigated to clarify the process of NSC biology and neurogenesis, there are still significant artifacts in understanding the primary mechanism. It is known that only a small percentage of NSC become neurons and integrate into the brain tissue after this process. The significant proportion differentiates to become either astrocytes or oligodendrocytes. Furthermore, the quiescent stem cells in the niche are mainly activated by the stimuli affect. In recent years, many studies have been conducted with varying hormones, some of which might provide neuro-stimulation effect and/or involved in the regeneration of the brain tissue and/or neuroprotection from traumatic or ischemic pathologies, including Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), Mechano Growth Factor (MGF), Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF-2), Erythropoietin (EPO), Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). In this study, we examined the effects of FGF-2, MGF, IGF-1, EPO, EGF, NGF, and BDNF alone or with various combinations on rat hippocampal NSC by tracking the changes in the expression of Nestin, GFAP, TUBB3, and DCX genes during 24 h (h), 72 h and 168 h time frame. The apoptosis analysis revealed that FGF-2 and FGF-2 coupled growth factors effectively protect NSCs against apoptosis, whereas MGF coupled growth factors failed in this protection. The cell cycle analysis demonstrated that these growth factors had accumulated the NSCs exit from the quiescent phase to the Mitosis phase, mostly without being long in the Synthesis Phase. Neurosphere sizes were increased with MGF, signifying MGF being effective in neural progenitor cells. The combined use of MGF with FGF-2 was more effective in postmitotic neurons than MGF alone. We have comparatively demonstrated the effect of cytokines alone and combined administration on activation, proliferation, and migration of NSCs. Although many issues are still waiting to be investigated in adult neurogenesis, neural regeneration, and adult neural stem cell biology, the results provide vital resources to the researchers that are interested in the varying effect of growth factor on NSC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147366
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - 15 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • FGF-2
  • IGF-1
  • Mechano growth factor
  • Neural stem cell
  • Neurogenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'In vitro investigation of growth factors including MGF and IGF-1 in neural stem cell activation, proliferation, and migration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this