Interferon beta and glatiramer acetate induce proliferation of Schwann cells in vitro
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Techniques as well as substances capable of stimulating cultured Schwann cell (SC) proliferation are needed for future therapeutical applications. In this work, the effects of interferon beta (IFNbeta) and glatiramer acetate (GA) on SC cultures were tested, with interest on the growth curve and potential proliferative effects. Primary cultures were prepared from the sciatic nerves of neonatal rats and seeded onto culture plates. Such cells were then subjected to treatment with different doses of IFN beta (100, 500 and 1000 IU/ml) and of GA (1.2, 2.5 and 5.0 mmg/ml) for five consecutive days. S100beta and DAPI double labeling was used in order to confirm the purity of the cultures. Both treatment with IFN and GA resulted in an increased number of cultured SCs. However, only IFN beta induced a statistically significant proliferative outcome. Such results indicate that addition of IFN beta to the culture medium is efficient in order to improve SC proliferation in vitro.
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Alexandre L.R. Oliveira, Department of Anatomy, Institute of Biology, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil