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J Neurochem. 1993 Feb;60(2):772-5.

Regulation of neuropeptide expression in cultured cerebral cortical neurons by brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

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  • 1Beckman Neuroscience Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York.


The neuropeptide-inducing activity of neurotrophic factors was tested in cultured cerebral cortical neurons. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) specifically increased contents of the neuropeptides somatostatin (SOM) and neuropeptide Y (NPY), but its effect on contents of cholecystokinin octapeptide and GABA was much less significant. The maximal induction of NPY content (15-fold increase) was achieved by 20 ng/ml of BDNF. These changes were also reproduced at the mRNA level. In contrast, neurotrophin-3 was much less potent at increasing NPY and SOM contents, and nerve growth factor had no effect on them. The expression of mRNA for NPY and SOM was fully dependent on the presence of BDNF in culture but irrelevant to the survival-promoting activity of BDNF, which has been reported previously. Most of the NPY immunoreactivity induced by BDNF was colocalized with glutamate decarboxylase immunoreactivity in cultured cortical neurons. These results suggest that BDNF regulates the peptidergic expression of GABAergic neurons in the cerebral cortex.

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