Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS Comput Biol. 2019 Apr 24;15(4):e1006975. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006975. eCollection 2019 Apr.

A kinetic model for Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor mediated spike timing-dependent LTP.

Author information

Institute of Biophysics, National Research Council, Palermo, Italy.
Institute of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Institute of Physiology, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Medical Faculty, Magdeburg, Germany.
Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences (CBBS), Magdeburg, Germany.


Across the mammalian nervous system, neurotrophins control synaptic plasticity, neuromodulation, and neuronal growth. The neurotrophin Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is known to promote structural and functional synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, the cerebral cortex, and many other brain areas. In recent years, a wealth of data has been accumulated revealing the paramount importance of BDNF for neuronal function. BDNF signaling gives rise to multiple complex signaling pathways that mediate neuronal survival and differentiation during development, and formation of new memories. These different roles of BDNF for neuronal function have essential consequences if BDNF signaling in the brain is reduced. Thus, BDNF knock-out mice or mice that are deficient in BDNF receptor signaling via TrkB and p75 receptors show deficits in neuronal development, synaptic plasticity, and memory formation. Accordingly, BDNF signaling dysfunctions are associated with many neurological and neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease. However, despite the widespread implications of BDNF-dependent signaling in synaptic plasticity in healthy and pathological conditions, the interplay of the involved different biochemical pathways at the synaptic level remained mostly unknown. In this paper, we investigated the role of BDNF/TrkB signaling in spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) in rodent hippocampus CA1 pyramidal cells, by implementing the first subcellular model of BDNF regulated, spike timing-dependent long-term potentiation (t-LTP). The model is based on previously published experimental findings on STDP and accounts for the observed magnitude, time course, stimulation pattern and BDNF-dependence of t-LTP. It allows interpreting the main experimental findings concerning specific biomolecular processes, and it can be expanded to take into account more detailed biochemical reactions. The results point out a few predictions on how to enhance LTP induction in such a way to rescue or improve cognitive functions under pathological conditions.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center