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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2006 Jan;31(1):70-84. Epub 2005 Oct 7.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor-induced potentiation of glutamate and GABA release: different dependency on signaling pathways and neuronal activity.

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  • 1Neuronics Research Group, Research Institute for Cell Engineering, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Osaka 563-8577, Japan.


The mechanisms underlying BDNF-modulated neurotransmitter release remain elusive. Here, we found that 24-h exposure of postnatal cortical neurons to BDNF potentiated depolarization-evoked glutamate and GABA release in a protein synthesis-dependent manner. BDNF-potentiated glutamate release occurred through the PLC-gamma and MAPK pathways. The expression of synapsin I, synaptotagmin, and synaptophysin, but not of syntaxin or SNAP25, increased through the PLC-gamma and MAPK pathways. In contrast, BDNF-up-regulated GABA release and GAD65/67 expression depended on MAPK. Furthermore, neuronal activity was necessary for the up-regulation of glutamate release and synapsin I, synaptotagmin, and synaptophysin expression, but not of GABA or GAD65/67. PLC-gamma inhibitor attenuated BDNF-stimulated long-lasting MAPK activation. As BDNF rapidly potentiates glutamatergic transmission through PLC-gamma (J. Biol. Chem. 277, (2002) 6520-6529), PLC-gamma-mediated neuronal activity might sustain MAPK activation, resulting in BDNF-potentiated glutamate release. In conclusion, BDNF potentiates the excitatory and inhibitory system separately, which may be important for the regulation of synaptic plasticity.

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