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Nature. 2002 Oct 17;419(6908):687-93.

Neurotrophin-evoked depolarization requires the sodium channel Na(V)1.9.

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Institut für Physiologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, D-80336 München, Germany.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and other neurotrophins are essential for normal brain function. Many types of neurons in the central nervous system are excited by BDNF or neurotrophin-4/5, an action that has recently been implicated in synaptic plasticity. The mechanisms involved in this transmitter-like action of neurotrophins remains unclear. Here, by screening candidate genes with an antisense messenger RNA expression approach and by co-expressing the receptor tyrosine kinase TrkB and various sodium channels, we demonstrate that the tetrodotoxin-insensitive sodium channel Na(V)1.9 underlies the neurotrophin-evoked excitation. These results establish the molecular basis of neurotrophin-evoked depolarization and reveal a mechanism of ligand-mediated sodium channel activation.

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