Reduced fractional anisotropy in the uncinate fasciculus in patients with major depression carrying the met-allele of the Val66Met brain-derived neurotrophic factor genotype.
ABSTRACT Experimental studies support a neurotrophic hypothesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to determine the effect of Val66Met brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) polymorphism on the white matter fiber tracts connecting hippocampus and amygdala with the prefrontal lobe in a sample of patients with MDD and healthy controls. Thirty-seven patients with MDD and 42 healthy volunteers were recruited. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data with 61 diffusion directions were obtained with MRI 3 Tesla scanner. Deterministic tractography was applied with ExploreDTI and Val66Met BDNF SNP (rs6265) was genotyped. Fiber tracts connecting the hippocampus and amygdala with the prefrontal lobe, namely uncinate fasciculus (UF), fornix, and cingulum were analyzed. A significant interaction was found in the UF between BDNF alleles and diagnosis. Patients carrying the BDNF met-allele had smaller fractional anisotropy (FA) in the UF compared to those patients homozygous for val-allele and compared to healthy subjects carrying the met-allele. A significant three-way interaction was detected between region of the cingulum (dorsal, rostral, and parahippocampal regions), brain hemisphere and BDNF genotype. Larger FA was detectable in the left rostral cingulum for met-allele carriers when compared to val/val alelle carriers. We provide evidence for the importance of the neurotrophic involvement in limbic and prefrontal connections. The met-allele of the BDNF polymorphism seems to render subjects more vulnerable for dysfunctions associated with the UF, a tract known to be related to negative emotional-cognitive processing bias, declarative memory problems, and autonoetic self awareness.
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ABSTRACT: The brain contains more than 100 billion neurons that communicate with each other via axons for the formation of complex neural networks. The structural mapping of such networks during health and disease states is essential for understanding brain function. However, our understanding of brain structural connectivity is surprisingly limited, due in part to the lack of noninvasive methodologies to study axonal anatomy. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a recently developed MRI technique that can measure macroscopic axonal organization in nervous system tissues. In this article, the principles of DTI methodologies are explained, and several applications introduced, including visualization of axonal tracts in myelin and axonal injuries as well as human brain and mouse embryonic development. The strengths and limitations of DTI and key areas for future research and development are also discussed.Neuron 10/2006; 51(5):527-39. · 15.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: structural abnormalities in the hippocampus have been implicated in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) val66met polymorphism may contribute to these abnormalities and therefore confer vulnerability to MDD. This study examined whether there is a relationship among BDNF genotype, hippocampal volumes, and MDD in older adults. thirty-three older adults with MDD and 23 psychiatrically normal comparison subjects were studied. Structural magnetic resonance imaging analysis was used to quantify hippocampal volumes. A repeated-measures analysis of covariance examined the relationships among BDNF val66met (val/val, met carrier), diagnosis (depressed, nondepressed), and hippocampal volumes (right, left). Age, gender, education, and whole brain volume were included as covariates. elderly MDD BDNF val/val homozygotes had significantly higher right hippocampal volumes compared with nondepressed val/val subjects. However, there was no difference between the depressed and healthy nondepressed met carriers. In addition, depressed met carriers had an earlier age of onset of depressive illness than val/val homozygotes, but age of onset did not moderate the relationship between hippocampal volumes and MDD diagnosis. these results provide preliminary evidence of a neuroprotective role of the val/val genotype, suggesting that neurotrophic factor production protects against pathophysiological processes triggered by depression in older adults with later age of onset of MDD. The BDNF val66met polymorphism may play a salient role in structural alterations of the hippocampus in older adults with MDD.The American journal of geriatric psychiatry: official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry 01/2011; 19(1):13-22. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Binding and cross-linking studies with radiolabeled neurotrophins demonstrate that cultured rat hippocampal astrocytes lack full-length TrkB, but do express high levels of truncated TrkB (tTrkB). In astrocytes and Schwann cells, tTrkB appears to have the novel function of mediating the endocytosis of neurotrophins into an acid-stable, Triton X-100 resistant intracellular pool that is released back into the medium in a temperature-dependent manner. Chloroquine treatment, trichloroacetic acid solubility, and sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis revealed that when incubated with astrocytes or Schwann cells for at least 48 h neither the intracellular nor the released neurotrophins were significantly degraded. The endocytosis and release of neurotrophins may represent a novel mechanism whereby neuroglia can regulate the local concentration of these neurotrophic factors for extended periods of time.Brain Research 08/2000; 871(2):210-22. · 2.88 Impact Factor