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Neurosci Lett. 1997 May 23;227(3):177-80.

Brain derived neurotrophic factor induces a rapid upregulation of synaptophysin and tau proteins via the neurotrophin receptor TrkB in rat cerebellar granule cells.

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Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacy, Abo Akademi University, Biocity, Turku, Finland.


We have examined the effects of neurotrophins brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) on the expression of the maturation-specific proteins synaptophysin and tau, and the growth-associated protein (GAP)-43 in cerebellar granule cells. We find that BDNF but not NGF rapidly (within 2 h) upregulates levels of synaptophysin, tau and c-Fos correlating with expression of the neurotrophin receptor TrkB. The rapid increase in synaptophysin is not preceded by c-Fos elevation suggesting a post-transcriptional mechanism may be involved. In contrast, no upregulation of GAP-43 levels are seen within this time period. Phorbol ester mimics the effects of BDNF, indicating that protein kinase C (PKC) is either a component of, or feeds into the signalling mechanism. We conclude that BDNF, characterized to be survival promoting early in differentiation of cerebellar granule cells, enhances maturation at a later stage.

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