Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Aug 29;103(35):13208-13. Epub 2006 Aug 21.

Transgenic brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression causes both anxiogenic and antidepressant effects.

Author information

The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, RIKEN-MIT Neuroscience Research Center, Department of Biology and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Although neurotrophins have been postulated to have antidepressant properties, their effect on anxiety is not clear. We find that transgenic overexpression of the neurotrophin BDNF has an unexpected facilitatory effect on anxiety-like behavior, concomitant with increased spinogenesis in the basolateral amygdala. Moreover, anxiogenesis and amygdalar spinogenesis are also triggered by chronic stress in control mice but are occluded by BDNF overexpression, thereby suggesting a role for BDNF signaling in stress-induced plasticity in the amygdala. BDNF overexpression also causes antidepressant effects, because transgenic mice exhibit improved performance on the Porsolt forced-swim test and an absence of chronic stress-induced hippocampal atrophy. Thus, structural changes in the amygdala and hippocampus, caused by genetic manipulation of the same molecule BDNF, give rise to contrasting effects on anxiety and depressive symptoms, both of which are major behavioral correlates of stress disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center