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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2005 Sep;64(9):806-15.

Increased expression of BDNF and proliferation of dentate granule cells after bacterial meningitis.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany.


Proliferation and differentiation of neural progenitor cells is increased after bacterial meningitis. To identify endogenous factors involved in neurogenesis, expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), TrkB, nerve growth factor (NGF), and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) was investigated. C57BL/6 mice were infected by intracerebral injection of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Mice were killed 30 hours later or treated with ceftriaxone and killed 4 days after infection. Hippocampal BDNF mRNA levels were increased 2.4-fold 4 days after infection (p = 0.026). Similarly, BDNF protein levels in the hippocampal formation were higher in infected mice than in control animals (p = 0.0003). This was accompanied by an elevated proliferation of dentate granule cells (p = 0.0002). BDNF protein was located predominantly in the hippocampal CA3/4 area and the hilus of the dentate gyrus. The density of dentate granule cells expressing the BDNF receptor TrkB as well as mRNA levels of TrkB in the hippocampal formation were increased 4 days after infection (p = 0.027 and 0.0048, respectively). Conversely, NGF mRNA levels at 30 hours after infection were reduced by approximately 50% (p = 0.004). No significant changes in GDNF expression were observed. In conclusion, increased synthesis of BDNF and TrkB suggests a contribution of this neurotrophic factor to neurogenesis after bacterial meningitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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