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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Nov 2;101(44):15788-92. Epub 2004 Oct 25.

Induction of long-term potentiation and depression is reflected by corresponding changes in secretion of endogenous brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

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Department of Human and General Physiology, University of Bologna, Via San Donato 19/2, I-40126 Bologna, Italy.


Neurotrophins play an important role in modulating activity-dependent neuronal plasticity. In particular, threshold levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are required to induce long-term potentiation (LTP) in acute hippocampal slices. Conversely, the administration of exogenous BDNF prevents the induction of long-term depression (LTD) in the visual cortex. A long-standing missing link in the analysis of this modulatory role of BDNF was the determination of the time-course of endogenous BDNF secretion in the same organotypic preparation in which LTP and LTD are elicited. Here, we fulfilled this requirement in slices of perirhinal cortex. Classical theta-burst stimulation patterns evoking LTP lasting >180 min elicited a large increase in BDNF secretion that persisted 5-12 min beyond the stimulation period. Weaker theta-burst stimulation patterns leading only to the initial phase of LTP ( approximately 35 min) were accompanied by a smaller increase in BDNF secretion lasting <1 min. Sequestration of BDNF by TrkB-IgG receptor bodies prevented LTP. Low-frequency stimulations leading to LTD were accompanied by reductions in BDNF secretion that never lasted beyond the duration of the stimulation.

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