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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jul 5;108(27):11246-51. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1012401108. Epub 2011 Jun 20.

Neurotrophin-mediated dendrite-to-nucleus signaling revealed by microfluidic compartmentalization of dendrites.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Weill Medical College Cornell University, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Abstract

Signaling from dendritic synapses to the nucleus regulates important aspects of neuronal function, including synaptic plasticity. The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) can induce long-lasting strengthening of synapses in vivo and this effect is dependent on transcription. However, the mechanism of signaling to the nucleus is not well understood. Here we describe a microfluidic culture device to investigate dendrite-to-nucleus signaling. Using these microfluidic devices, we demonstrate that BDNF can act directly on dendrites to elicit an anterograde signal that induces transcription of the immediate early genes, Arc and c-Fos. Induction of Arc is dependent on dendrite- and cell body-derived calcium, whereas induction of c-Fos is calcium-independent. In contrast to retrograde neurotrophin-mediated axon-to-nucleus signaling, which is MEK5-dependent, BDNF-mediated anterograde dendrite-to-nucleus signaling is dependent on MEK1/2. Intriguingly, the activity of TrkB, the BDNF receptor, is required in the cell body for the induction of Arc and c-Fos mediated by dendritically applied BDNF. These results are consistent with the involvement of a signaling endosome-like pathway that conveys BDNF signals from the dendrite to the nucleus.

PMID:
21690335
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3131323
Free PMC Article

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