Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor human (GDNF) has been used as a component in the neurobasal medium for neural differentiation. It has also been used for self-renewal, expansion and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs).
Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor is a member of the cysteine-knot superfamily of growth factors that assume stable dimeric protein structures. GDNF is founding member of the GDNF family of ligands, which to date include GDNF, neurturin (NTN), persephin (PSP) and artemin (ART). GDNF is a glycosylated disulfide-linked homodimeric protein of ~15 kDa. Mature rat and human GDNF share ~93% sequence homology, with strong species cross-reactivity. GDNF signals through a multicomponent receptor system, composed of a RET and one of the four GFRα (α1-α4) receptors. GDNF specifically promotes dopamine uptake and survival and morphological differentiation of midbrain neurons. Using the Parkinson′s disease mouse model, GDNF has been shown to improve conditions such as bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability. GDNF promotes survival of various neuronal cells in central and peripheral nervous systems and different stages of development, including motoneurons, midbrain dopaminergic neurons, Purkinje cells and sympathetic neurons. Cells known to express GDNF include Sertoli cells, type 1 astrocytes, Schwann cells, neurons, pinealocytes and skeletal muscle cells. In addition, exogenously applied GDNF has been shown to rescue damaged facial motor neurons in vivo.
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor human (GDNF) acts as a morphogen in kidney development and modulates spermatogonial differentiation. Mutations in this gene may be associated with Hirschsprung′s disease, Tourette syndrome (TS) and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is used to treat Parkinson′s disease.