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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Nov 15;88(22):10037-41.

Interplay between glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid transmitter systems in the physiological regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor synthesis in hippocampal neurons.

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Department of Neurochemistry, Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry, Planegg-Martinsried, Federal Republic of Germany.


In the central nervous system brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) are predominantly located in neurons. Here we demonstrate that the balance between the activity of the glutamatergic and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic systems controls the physiological levels of BDNF and NGF mRNAs in hippocampal neurons in vitro and in vivo. The blockade of the glutamate receptors and/or stimulation of the GABAergic system reduces BDNF and NGF mRNAs in hippocampus and NGF protein in hippocampus and septum. The reduction of NGF in the septum reflects the diminished availability of NGF in the projection field of NGF-dependent septal cholinergic neurons. These neurons do not synthesize NGF themselves but accumulate it by retrograde axonal transport. The refined and rapid regulation of BDNF and NGF synthesis by the glutamate and GABA transmitter systems suggests that BDNF and NGF might be involved in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity.

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