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Neurobiol Dis. 2015 May;77:220-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2015.03.011. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

Evaluation of TrkB and BDNF transcripts in prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum from subjects with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.

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Neuroscience, Pfizer Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA.
Life Technologies, New London, CT, USA.
Research Statistics, Pfizer Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Translational Neuroscience Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
Neuroscience, Pfizer Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA. Electronic address:


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling is integral to a range of neural functions, including synaptic plasticity and exhibits activity-dependent regulation of expression. As altered BDNF signaling has been implicated in multiple psychiatric diseases, here we report a quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of mRNAs encoding TrkB, total BDNF, and the four most abundant BDNF transcripts (I, IIc, IV, and VI) in postmortem tissue from matched tetrads of subjects with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder (MDD) and healthy comparison subjects. In all three regions examined, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), associative striatum and hippocampus, total BDNF mRNA levels did not differ in any disease state. In DLPFC, BDNF IIc was significantly lower in schizophrenia relative to healthy comparison subjects. In hippocampus, BDNF I, IIc, and VI were lower in subjects with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder relative to comparison subjects. In striatum, TrkB mRNA was lower in bipolar disorder and MDD, while BDNF IIc was elevated in MDD, relative to comparison subjects. These data highlight potential alterations in BDNF signaling in the corticohippocampal circuit in schizophrenia, and within the striatum in mood disorders. Novel therapies aimed at improving BDNF-TrkB signaling may therefore have potential to impact on a range of psychiatric disorders.


BDNF; Bipolar disorder; Postmortem; RT-PCR; Schizophrenia; TrkB

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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