In light of the recent demonstration that one “neurotrophic factor” of peripheral nerves is the iron‐transport glycoprotein transferrin, we tested the effects of heterologous transferrin on cellular events in cultured newt forelimb blastemas. Addition of transferrin to medium containing 1% fetal bovine serum resulted in DNA labeling and mitotic activity approximately twice as high as that of blastemas cultured in medium with 1% serum alone. Blastemas maintained for 24 hr in medium with 1% serum were stimulated to increased levels of DNA synthesis by the addition of transferrin, and this response was dose‐dependent. Varying the concentrations of iron and transferrin in the medium gave results indicating that the glycoprotein's trophic effect is due to its ability to furnish iron to the cells in an appropriate manner. Results of the study are consistent with the hypothesis that blastema cell proliferation is promoted by transferrin or transferrin‐like factors released from nerves.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology