• Epinephrine;
  • β-Blocker;
  • S-100;
  • GFAP;
  • Astrocytoma;
  • Culture;
  • Neurotrophic factor;
  • Induction


A subline of rat C6 glioma cells, C6-10A cells, in which epinephrine can induce nerve growth factor (NGF) synthesis/secretion, was isolated. C6-10A cells have retained their sensitivity to epinephrine for more than 2 years in a medium containing 0.5% fetal calf serum (FCS) but easily lose it in 10% FCS. C6-10A cells are S-100- and glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive, and the doubling time is about 60 h in the medium containing 0.5% FCS and about 20 h in 10% FCS. Epinephrine induced NGF synthesis/secretion prominently in serum-free cultures of C6-10A cells and in cultures with a high cell density, but not in serum-containing cultures. The induction did not occur with parent C6 cells under the appropriate conditions in C6-10A cells. NGF secretion was induced by catecholaminergic compounds in the following order isoproterenol > epinephrine = norepinephrine » dopamine. The induction caused by epinephrine was blocked by propranolol (α-blocker) but not by phentolamine (β-blocker). Various compounds that activate the adenylate cyclase system also induced NGF synthesis/secretion. These results indicate that C6-10A cells are astrocytes that are highly responsive to β-adrenergic receptor agonists, which stimulate NGF synthesis/secretion via receptors coupled with adenylate cyclase machinery. These cells may be a useful aid in studying the mechanism of NGF synthesis/secretion.