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Neurobiol Dis. 2017 Jan;97(Pt B):119-126. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2016.07.010. Epub 2016 Jul 15.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor in mood disorders and antidepressant treatments.

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Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 56, 00014, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:
Biomedical Research Institute, Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Osaka 563-8577, Japan; Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Kawaguchi 332-0012, Japan. Electronic address:


Levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are reduced in the brain and serum of depressed patients and at least the reduction in serum levels is reversible upon successful treatment. These data, together with a wealth of reports using different animal models with depression-like behavior or manipulation of expression of BDNF or its receptor TrkB have implicated BDNF in the pathophysiology of depression as well as in the mechanism of action of antidepressant treatments. Recent findings have shown that posttranslational processing of BDNF gene product can yield different molecular entities that differently influence signaling through BNDF receptor TrkB and the pan-neurotrophin receptor p75NTR. We will here review these data and discuss new insights into the possible pathophysiological roles of those new BDNF subtypes as well as recent findings on the role of BDNF mediated neuronal plasticity in mood disorders and their treatments.


Anxiety; BDNF; Depression; Neurotrophic factors; Neurotrophins

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