Cells that Express Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor mRNA in the Developing Postnatal Rat Brain

The European Journal of Neuroscience
W J FriedmanHåkan Persson


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a member of a family of related neurotrophic proteins which includes nerve growth factor (NGF) and hippocampus-derived neurotrophic factor/neurotrophin-3 (NT-3). To obtain information regarding possible roles for BDNF during postnatal brain development, we have examined the temporal and spatial expression of this trophic factor using in situ hybridization. In specific neocortical regions BDNF mRNA-expressing cells were seen at 2 weeks of age and thereafter. One particular neuronal cell type strikingly labelled was the inverted pyramidal cell population in the deep layers of parietotemporal cortex. In pyriform and cingulate cortices, BDNF mRNA was detected at postnatal day 1 and 1 week of age, respectively, with increasing levels during ontogeny. Several forebrain regions, including the thalamic anterior paraventricular nucleus, hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus as well as the preoptic area, contained moderate levels of BDNF mRNA throughout development. BDNF mRNA was detected transiently in several brainstem structures, notably in the substantia nigra and interpeduncular nucleus. Expression of this trophic factor in hippocampus was relatively low in the early neonatal brain, but attain...Continue Reading


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