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Brain Res. 1996 Feb 26;710(1-2):11-20.

BDNF increases monoaminergic activity in rat brain following intracerebroventricular or intraparenchymal administration.

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  • 1Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Tarrytown, NY 10591, USA


We have previously demonstrated alterations in serotonin metabolism within descending pathways following infusion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) into the midbrain, near the periaqueductal gray and dorsal and median raphe nuclei. The aim of the present study was to extend these studies to include a comprehensive regional examination of monoamine (serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine) and metabolite levels in discrete areas of the intact, adult rat forebrain following direct intraparenchymal midbrain BDNF infusion. We have compared neurochemical changes following midbrain infusion of BDNF to those obtained following intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusion. Significant increases in levels of 5-HIAA and/or the 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio were found in all areas examined including the hippocampus, cortex, striatum, n. accumbens, substantia nigra and hypothalamus following both midbrain and i.c.v. infusion. Changes in dopaminergic activity were also observed, but displayed more regional specificity, i.e. changes were found primarily within the striatum and cortex. The two infusion sites produced similar patterns of neurochemical effects although the magnitude of the changes did vary in some areas. These results suggest that BDNF increased synthesis and/or turnover of serotonin, and to a lesser extent dopamine, in the mature rat forebrain. Furthermore, these data point to possible functional roles for BDNF in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative conditions which involve a dysregulation of these monoamine systems.

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