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Neuroscience. 2004;126(4):859-69.

Altered regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein in hippocampus following slice preparation.

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Department of Neurobiology, Duke University Medical Center, 401 Bryan Research Building, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its cognate receptor tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) play important roles in regulating survival, structure, and function of CNS neurons. One method of studying the functions of these molecules has utilized in vitro hippocampal slice preparations. An important caveat to using slices, however, is that slice preparation itself might alter the expression of BDNF, thereby confounding experimental results. To address this concern, BDNF immunoreactivity was examined in rodent slices using two different methods of slice preparation. Rapid and anatomically selective regulation of BDNF content followed slice preparation using both methodologies; however, different patterns of altered BDNF immunoreactivity were observed. First, in cultured slices, BDNF content decreased in the dentate molecular layer and increased in the CA3 pyramidal cell layer and the mossy fiber pathway of the hippocampus after 30 min. Furthermore, an initially "punctate" pattern of BDNF labeling observed in the mossy fiber pathway of control sections changed to homogenous labeling of the pathway in vitro. In contrast to these findings, slices prepared as for acute slice physiology exhibited no change in BDNF content in the molecular layer and mossy fiber pathway 30 min after slicing, but exhibited significant increases in the dentate granule and CA3 pyramidal cell layers. These findings demonstrate that BDNF protein content is altered following slice preparation, that different methods of slice preparation produce different patterns of BDNF regulation, and raise the possibility that BDNF release and TrkB activation may also be regulated. These consequences of hippocampal slice preparation may confound analyses of exogenous or endogenous BDNF on hippocampal neuronal structure or function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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