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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2005 Mar;28(3):556-70.

Neuronal activity regulates the developmental expression and subcellular localization of cortical BDNF mRNA isoforms in vivo.

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Neuroscience Program, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA/ISAS), Trieste 34014, Italy.


Activity-dependent changes in BDNF expression have been implicated in developmental plasticity. Although its expression is widespread in visual cortex, developmental regulation of its different transcripts by visual experience has not been investigated. Here, we investigated the cellular expression of different BDNF transcripts in rat visual cortex during postnatal development. We found that transcripts I and II are expressed only in adults but III and IV are expressed from early postnatal stage. Total BDNF mRNA is expressed throughout the age groups. Transcripts III and IV show a differential intracellular localization, while former was detected only in cell bodies, latter is present both in cell bodies and dendritic processes. Inhibition of visual activity decreases the levels of exons, with exon IV transcript almost disappearing from dendrites. In vitro experiments also confirmed the above results, indicating activity-dependent regulation of different BDNF promoters with specific temporal and cellular patterns of expression in developing visual cortex.

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