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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1998 Nov 20;62(2):206-15.

Highest trkB mRNA expression in the entorhinal cortex among hippocampal subregions in the adult rat: contrasting pattern with BDNF mRNA expression.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Tokyo School of Medicine, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor, TrkB, regulate synaptic functions in the hippocampus of the adult rodent. In previous studies, in situ hybridization methods have been used to evaluate regional differences in BDNF and trkB mRNA expression levels in hippocampal subregions. However, these studies have failed to reach consensus regarding the regional differences in the mRNA expression levels. In the present study, we quantitated mRNA expression levels using two different methods, ribonuclease protection assays and a quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction technique, in four hippocampal subregions: the entorhinal cortex, dentate gyrus (DG), CA3 and CA1. These two methods yielded the same results. We found that BDNF and trkB mRNA expression levels did not covary in the four subregions. BDNF and full length trkB (trkB FL) mRNA in the entorhinal cortex and the DG show contrasting expression patterns. The expression level of BDNF mRNA was highest in the DG among the hippocampal subregions and low in the entorhinal cortex and the CA1, whereas the trkB FL mRNA expression level was highest in the entorhinal cortex, low in the DG and lowest in the CA3. These results suggest regional differences in BDNF/TrkB signaling for maintenance and modifiability of neuronal connections in the hippocampal formation.

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