Nov 14, 1998

Expression of BDNF and trkB as a function of age and cognitive performance

Brain Research
S D CrollS J Wiegand


The expression of the neurotrophic factor BDNF increases during learning-related events and is decreased in the hippocampus of Alzheimer's Disease patients, suggesting that it plays a role in learning, memory, and/or age-related memory deficits. We examined the expression of BDNF and its high affinity receptor, trkB, in young and aged Sprague-Dawley rats. BDNF and trkB mRNA were measured by semi-quantitative in situ hybridization and BDNF protein was measured by ELISA. Significant decreases with age were detected for BDNF mRNA in the pons, BDNF protein in the midbrain, and trkB mRNA in many areas of the brain. Rats were evaluated on the Morris water maze before sacrifice so that BDNF and trkB levels could be related to cognitive status. Regression analyses revealed that decreased trkB mRNA in the pons significantly predicted impaired memory performance in aged rats. These results suggest that decreases in trkB mRNA with age are more widespread than decreases in BDNF, and that BDNF decreases are restricted to more caudal brain regions.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Neurotrophic Tyrosine Kinase Receptor Type 2
Recombinant Brain-Derived Growth Factors
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Measurement
NTRK2 gene
Entire Midbrain
Neurotrophic factor
NTRK2 wt Allele

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