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Neuroscience. 1998 Feb;82(3):653-70.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor-like immunoreactivity in the adult rat central nervous system predominantly distributed in neurons with substantial amounts of brain-derived neurotrophic factor messenger RNA or responsiveness to brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Japan.


Distribution of brain-derived neurotrophic factor-like immunoreactivity was investigated in the adult rat brain using two types of antibodies against peptides, V2 and V4, unique to the brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Western blot analysis showed that both antibodies specifically bound brain-derived neurotrophic factor, but not other neurotrophins, and that they recognized identical molecules of 18,000 mol. wt, but not the 14,500 mol. wt mass of mature form, in extracts from the rat hippocampus. Both antibodies recognized an identical precursor form (30,000 mol. wt) in lysates of COS7 cells transfected with brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene. These indicated that both antibodies predominantly recognized identical precursor protein(s) or its derivative(s) probably because of their much higher amounts than the amount of mature protein. Immunochemical studies showed that anti-V2 predominantly stained the cytoplasm of cells; whereas the anti-V4 bound to the nucleus, suggesting that the tertiary structure of immunoreactive molecules changed depending on their location. Cell populations with the immunoreactivity were similar in most brain sections stained with either anti-V2 or anti-V4 antibodies. These results suggest that brain-derived neurotrophic factor-like immunoreactivity distributes, in most cases, in neurons responding to brain-derived neurotrophic factor and in neurons expressing abundant brain-derived neurotrophic factor messenger RNA. These, taken together with other results concerning distributions of messenger RNAs of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and TrkB, provide additional information to elucidate the function of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the rat central nervous system.

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