Cerebrospinal fluid contains biologically active bone morphogenetic protein-7

B. Dattatreyamurty, E. Roux, C. Horbinski, P. L. Kaplan, L. A. Robak, H. N. Beck, Pamela J Lein, D. Higgins, V. Chandrasekaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) regulate the development and function of many types of neurons. However, little is known of the actual concentrations of BMPs in the various parts of the brain. In this study, we considered the possibility that BMPs might be present in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Western blot analysis of normal adult bovine CSF revealed the presence of dimeric and monomeric forms of BMP-7, and the concentration of this molecule was found to be ∼ 12 ng/ml in a radioimmunoassay. Since BMP-7 is known to induce dendritic growth in rat sympathetic neurons, this was used as a bioassay to examine the biological activity of the BMP-7 present in CSF. Addition of normal bovine CSF to cultures of sympathetic neurons produced a dose-dependent increase in dendritic growth and the magnitude of this response approximated that obtained with maximally effective concentrations of exogenous BMP-7. Moreover, CSF-induced dendritic growth was inhibited by follistatin, a protein that can sequester BMPs, and by either of two monoclonal antibodies that react with BMP-7. These results show that, unlike most other neurotrophic factors, BMP-7 is a constituent of normal CSF and is present at concentrations sufficient to elicit a near maximal biological response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-281
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone morphogenetic protein
  • Bovine
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Dendrite
  • Smad-1
  • Sympathetic neuron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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