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J Neurosci. 2013 May 22;33(21):9214-30. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3256-12.2013.

BDNF-dependent recycling facilitates TrkB translocation to postsynaptic density during LTP via a Rab11-dependent pathway.

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Department of Neurobiology, Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Mental Disorders, School of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250012, PR China.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in the activity-dependent regulation of synaptic structure and function via tropomyosin related kinase B (TrkB) receptor activation. However, whether BDNF could regulate TrkB levels at synapse during long-term potentiation (LTP) is still unknown. We show in cultured rat hippocampal neurons that chemical LTP (cLTP) stimuli selectively promote endocytic recycling of BDNF-dependent full-length TrkB (TrkB-FL) receptors, but not isoform T1 (TrkB.T1) receptors, via a Rab11-dependent pathway. Moreover, neuronal-activity-enhanced TrkB-FL recycling could facilitate receptor translocation to postsynaptic density and enhance BDNF-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activation and rat hippocampal neuron survival. Finally, we found that cLTP could stimulate the switch of Rab11 from an inactive to an active form and that GTP-bound Rab11 could enhance the interaction between TrkB-FL and PSD-95. Therefore, the recycling endosome could serve as a reserve pool to supply TrkB-FL receptors for LTP maintenance. These findings provide a mechanistic link between Rab11-dependent endocytic recycling and TrkB modulation of synaptic plasticity.

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