PloS one

Differential fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF8)-mediated autoregulation of its cognate receptors, Fgfr1 and Fgfr3, in neuronal cell lines.

PMID 20405041


Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) mediate a vast range of CNS developmental processes including neural induction, proliferation, migration, and cell survival. Despite the critical role of FGF signaling for normal CNS development, few reports describe the mechanisms that regulate FGF receptor gene expression in the brain. We tested whether FGF8 could autoregulate two of its cognate receptors, Fgfr1 and Fgfr3, in three murine cell lines with different lineages: fibroblast-derived cells (3T3 cells), neuronal cells derived from hippocampus (HT-22 cells), and neuroendocrine cells derived from hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons (GT1-7 cells). GnRH is produced by neurons in the hypothalamus and is absolutely required for reproductive competence in vertebrate animals. Several lines of evidence strongly suggest that Fgf8 is critical for normal development of the GnRH system, therefore, the GT1-7 cells provided us with an additional endpoint, Gnrh gene expression and promoter activity, to assess potential downstream consequences of FGF8-induced modulation of FGF receptor levels. Results from this study suggest that the autoregulation of its cognate receptor represents a common downstream effect of FGF8. Further, we show that Fgfr1 and Fgfr3 are differentially regulated within the same cell type, implicating these two receptors in different biological roles. Moreover, Fgfr1 and Fgfr3 are differentially regulated among different cell types, suggesting such autoregulation occurs in a cell type-specific fashion. Lastly, we demonstrate that FGF8b decreases Gnrh promoter activity and gene expression, possibly reflecting a downstream consequence of altered FGF receptor populations. Together, our data bring forth the possibility that, in addition to the FGF synexpression group, autoregulation of FGFR expression by FGF8 represents a mechanism by which FGF8 could fine-tune its regulatory actions.