Differential enhancement of neural and photoreceptor cell differentiation of cultured pineal cells by FGF-1, IGF-1, and EGF.
The present study revealed that the pineal gland expressed basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and FGF-receptor 1 (FGFR1/flg), suggesting that bFGF in the pineal gland acts in an autocrine or paracrine manner, which is mediated by FGFR1/flg. The present study also examined gene expression of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) family (ERK1-3) which may be intracellular signal mediators of growth factors. ERK1 [mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP-kinase)] was strongly expressed throughout the pineal gland, while expression of ERK2 and ERK3 was not found. These findings suggest the presence of a signal pathway from bFGF to ERK1 via FGFR1/flg in the pineal gland.