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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2000 Jan;20(1):139-44.

Ischemic brain damage in mice after selectively modifying BDNF or NT4 gene expression.

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Stroke and Neurovascular Regulation Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston 02129, USA.


The neurotrophins and the tyrosine kinase (Trk) B receptor may play a protective role in the pathophysiology of cerebral ischemia. In this study, the authors investigated whether reducing endogenous expression of TrkB-binding neurotrophins modifies the susceptibility to ischemic injury after 1-hour middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by 23 hours of reperfusion in a filament middle cerebral artery occlusion model. Mice lacking both alleles for neurotrophin-4 (nt4-/-) or deficient in a single allele for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (bdnf+/-) exhibited larger cerebral infarcts compared to wild-type inbred 129/SVjae mice (68% and 91%, respectively, compared to controls). Moreover, lesions were larger (21%) in nt4-/- mice after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion. Hence, expression of both NT4 and BDNF, and by inference the TrkB receptor, confers resistance to ischemic injury.

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