Mapping the differences in the brain concentration of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) in an animal model of depression.
ABSTRACT Antidepressant drugs as well as electroconvulsive stimuli can significantly influence brain concentrations of neurotrophic factors. However, it is not known whether the baseline brain concentrations of neurotrophic factors are altered in human subjects suffering from affective disorders or whether there are sex differences in concentrations of neurotrophins in human brain. In order to elucidate some of these questions, we measured by ELISA brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) in an animal model of depression, the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) rats and their controls, the Flinders Resistant Line (FRL). Altered BDNF and NGF concentrations were found in frontal cortex, occipital cortex, and hypothalamus of depressed FSL compared to FRL control rats. Furthermore, different levels of these neurotrophins were also found in the male and female brain. Cumulatively these observations suggest that BDNF and NGF may play a role in depression and, hypothetically, different brain regional concentrations of BDNF and NGF in male and female animals may be relevant to gender differences in vulnerability to depression.
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ABSTRACT: Stress is known to play an important role in etiology, development and progression of affective diseases. Especially, chronic stress, by initiating changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), neurotransmission and the immune system, acts as a trigger for affective diseases. It has been reported that the rise in the concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines and persistent up-regulation of glucocorticoid expression in the brain and periphery increases the excitotoxic effect on CA3 pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus resulting in dendritic atrophy, apoptosis of neurons and possibly inhibition of neurogenesis in adult brain. Stress was observed to disrupt neuroplasticity in the brain, and growing evidence demonstrates its role in the pathomechanism of affective disorders. Experimental studies indicate that a well-known brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) which have recently focused increasing attention of neuroscientists, promote cell survival, positively modulate neuroplasticity and hippocampal neurogenesis. In this paper, we review the alterations in BDNF and VEGF pathways induced by chronic and acute stress, and their relationships with HPA axis activity. Moreover, behavioral effects evoked in rodents by both above-mentioned factors and the effects consequent to their deficit are presented. Biochemical as well as behavioral findings suggest that BDNF and VEGF play an important role as components of cascade of changes in the pathomechanism of stress-induced affective diseases. Further studies on the mechanisms regulating their expression in stress conditions are needed to better understand the significance of trophic hypothesis of stress-induced affective diseases.Pharmacological reports: PR 05/2013; 65(3):535-46. · 1.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and leptin have been hypothesized to be involved in the neurobiology of depression. The aim of this study was to investigate BDNF, VEGF and leptin levels in patients with severe melancholic depression. Methods: A total of 40 drug-free patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) with melancholic features and 40 healthy controls were included in the study. Demographic information, psychiatric evaluation and physical examination were documented for both groups. Serum BDNF, VEGF levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and leptin with radioimmunoassay methods. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale were applied to the patients. Results: There were no significant differences in serum BDNF, VEGF and leptin levels between the patient and control groups. There was a negative correlation between BDNF levels and the number of depressive episodes. It was noted that VEGF levels decreased with increasing severity of depression. Conclusions: These findings suggest that BDNF levels might be associated with the recurrence of depression and VEGF levels might be a determinant of the severity of depression.Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology. 04/2012; 2(2):65-74.
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ABSTRACT: Clinical research has demonstrated a significant sex difference in the occurrence of depressive disorders. Beginning at pubertal onset, women report a higher incidence of depression than men. Women are also vulnerable to the development of depressive disorders such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, postpartum depression, and perimenopausal depression. These disorders are associated with reproductive stages involving changes in gonadal hormone levels. Specifically, female depression and female affective behaviors are influenced by estradiol levels. This review argues two major mechanisms by which estrogens influence depression and depressive-like behavior: through interactions with neurotrophic factors and through an influence on the serotonergic system. In particular, estradiol increases brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels within the brain, and alters serotonergic expression in a receptor subtype-specific manner. We will take a regional approach, examining these effects of estrogens in the major brain areas implicated in depression. Finally, we will discuss the gaps in our current knowledge of the effects of estrogens on female depression, and the potential utility for estrogen receptor modulators in treatment for this disorder.Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 01/2014; 54:13–25. · 3.55 Impact Factor