Widespread expression of BDNF but not NT3 by target areas of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons

H S PhillipsJ W Winslow


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT3) are homologs of the well-known neurotrophic factor nerve growth factor. The three members of this family display distinct patterns of target specificity. To examine the distribution in brain of messenger RNA for these molecules, in situ hybridization was performed. Cells hybridizing intensely to antisense BDNF probe were located throughout the major targets of the rat basal forebrain cholinergic system, that is, the hippocampus, amygdala, and neocortex. Strongly hybridizing cells were also observed in structures associated with the olfactory system. The distribution of NT3 mRNA in forebrain was much more limited. Within the hippocampus, labeled cells were restricted to CA2, the most medial portion of CA1, and the dentate gyrus. In human hippocampus, cells expressing BDNF mRNA are distributed in a fashion similar to that observed in the rat. These findings point to both basal forebrain cholinergic cells and olfactory pathways as potential central targets for BDNF.


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Related Concepts

In Silico
Nerve Growth Factor
Tissue Specificity
Recombinant Brain-Derived Growth Factors
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Measurement
Neurotrophic factor
BDNF gene

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