BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES: NEUROSCIENCEThe biological effects of cell-delivered brain-derived neurotrophic factor on cultured spiral ganglion cellsWarnecke, Athanasiaa; Wissel, Kirstena; Hoffmann, Andreab; Hofmann, Nicolaa; Berkingali, Nurdanata; Gro, Gerhardbß; Lenarz, Thomasa; Stöver, TimoaAuthor Information aDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Hannover bHelmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany Correspondence to Timo Stöver, MD, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany Tel: +49 511 532 3808; fax: +49 511 532 5558; e-mail: [email protected] Received 29 June 2007; accepted 26 July 2007 NeuroReport: October 29, 2007 - Volume 18 - Issue 16 - p 1683-1686 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282f0b5d7 Buy Metrics Abstract The benefit achieved by the use of cochlear implants depends among other factors on the number of surviving spiral ganglion cells (SGCs). Neurotrophic factors, especially brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), have a protective effect on spiral ganglions. Coating of the cochlear implant electrode with BDNF-producing cells may provide long-term delivery of the factor. Therefore, the hypothesis that BDNF-producing fibroblasts can enhance cell survival of cultured SGCs was tested. Lentiviral infection of fibroblasts resulted in BDNF production. Conditioned medium obtained from infected fibroblasts was used for the cultivation of SGCs. As a result, improved survival and neurite outgrowth was observed on SGCs. Our results demonstrate that lentivirally infected fibroblasts produce BDNF that has neurotrophic effects on spiral ganglions. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.