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Objective:Astrocytes secrete various neurotrophic factors which act to support the survival and growth of neurons. Reactive astrocytes express an increased level of neurotrophic factors in response to central nervous system injury. We demonstrate that reactive astrocytes could express neurotrophic factors to promote neuronal rescue and generate functional recovery. Methods:To investigate the correlation of neurotrophic factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor(BDNF) and neurotrophin-3(NT-3) to glutamate-induced reactive gliosis, mRNA expression of BDNF and NT-3 were detected by the RT-PCR technique. Results:Exposure of cultured astrocytes to L-glutamate(1, 100, 200 and 500μM) and scraped astrocytes for 1 day resulted in significant cell damage and we observed mRNA expression of BDNF and NT-3. The maximal expression of BDNF was observed in the control, scraped and L-glutamate treated astrocytes(1μM). The basal expression of BDNF mRNA in astrocytes treated with L-glutamate(100, 200 and 500μM) decreased relative to that of control, scraped and L-glutamate treated astrocytes(1μM). Reactive gliosis, treatment of control astrocytes with glutamate, showed similar pattern for NT-3 mRNA expression. In a word, the basal content of NT-3 mRNA in scrape and L-glutamate(1, 100, 200 and 500μM) expressed similar to that of control astrocytes Conclusion:This study indicates that the reactive astrocytes also expressed mRNA of BDNF and NT-3 as normal astrocytes. Key words:Reactive astrocytes;L-glutamate;Scrape;BDNF;NT-3.