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World J Biol Chem. 2014 Nov 26;5(4):409-28. doi: 10.4331/wjbc.v5.i4.409.

New insight in expression, transport, and secretion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor: Implications in brain-related diseases.

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Naoki Adachi, Tadahiro Numakawa, Shingo Nakajima, Hiroshi Kunugi, Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo 187-8502, Japan.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) attracts increasing attention from both research and clinical fields because of its important functions in the central nervous system. An adequate amount of BDNF is critical to develop and maintain normal neuronal circuits in the brain. Given that loss of BDNF function has been reported in the brains of patients with neurodegenerative or psychiatric diseases, understanding basic properties of BDNF and associated intracellular processes is imperative. In this review, we revisit the gene structure, transcription, translation, transport and secretion mechanisms of BDNF. We also introduce implications of BDNF in several brain-related diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, depression and schizophrenia.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Neurodegenerative disorders; Psychiatric disorders; Secretion; Transcription; Transport

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