bFGF has been shown in preliminary animal studies to protect the heart from injury associated with a heart attack, reducing tissue death and promoting improved function after reperfusion.
Recent evidence has shown that low levels of FGF2 play a key role in the incidence of excessive anxiety.
Additionally, bFGF is a critical component of human embryonic stem cell culture medium; the growth factor is necessary for the cells to remain in an undifferentiated state, although the mechanisms by which it does this are poorly defined. It has been demonstrated to induce gremlin expression which in turn is known to inhibit the induction of differentiation by bone morphogenetic proteins. It is necessary in mouse-feeder cell dependent culture systems, as well as in feeder and serum-free culture systems. FGF2, in conjunction with BMP4, promote differentiation of stem cells to mesodermal lineages. After differentiation, BMP4 and FGF2 treated cells generally produces higher amounts of osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation than untreated stem cells.
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