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Publication
Journal: Annual Review of Neuroscience
September/13/2001
Abstract
Neurotrophins regulate development, maintenance, and function of vertebrate nervous systems. Neurotrophins activate two different classes of receptors, the Trk family of receptor tyrosine kinases and p75NTR, a member of the TNF receptor superfamily. Through these, neurotrophins activate many signaling pathways, including those mediated by ras and members of the cdc-42/ras/rho G protein families, and the MAP kinase, PI-3 kinase, and Jun kinase cascades. During development, limiting amounts of neurotrophins function as survival factors to ensure a match between the number of surviving neurons and the requirement for appropriate target innervation. They also regulate cell fate decisions, axon growth, dendrite pruning, the patterning of innervation and the expression of proteins crucial for normal neuronal function, such as neurotransmitters and ion channels. These proteins also regulate many aspects of neural function. In the mature nervous system, they control synaptic function and synaptic plasticity, while continuing to modulate neuronal survival.
Publication
Journal: Nature Reviews Neuroscience
April/28/2005
Abstract
Impairments in certain cognitive functions, such as working memory, are core features of schizophrenia. Convergent findings indicate that a deficiency in signalling through the TrkB neurotrophin receptor leads to reduced GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) synthesis in the parvalbumin-containing subpopulation of inhibitory GABA neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of individuals with schizophrenia. Despite both pre- and postsynaptic compensatory responses, the resulting alteration in perisomatic inhibition of pyramidal neurons contributes to a diminished capacity for the gamma-frequency synchronized neuronal activity that is required for working memory function. These findings reveal specific targets for therapeutic interventions to improve cognitive function in individuals with schizophrenia.
Publication
Journal: Annual Review of Biochemistry
December/9/2003
Abstract
Trk receptors are a family of three receptor tyrosine kinases, each of which can be activated by one or more of four neurotrophins-nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and neurotrophins 3 and 4 (NT3 and NT4). Neurotrophin signaling through these receptors regulates cell survival, proliferation, the fate of neural precursors, axon and dendrite growth and patterning, and the expression and activity of functionally important proteins, such as ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors. In the adult nervous system, the Trk receptors regulate synaptic strength and plasticity. The cytoplasmic domains of Trk receptors contain several sites of tyrosine phosphorylation that recruit intermediates in intracellular signaling cascades. As a result, Trk receptor signaling activates several small G proteins, including Ras, Rap-1, and the Cdc-42-Rac-Rho family, as well as pathways regulated by MAP kinase, PI 3-kinase and phospholipase-C-gamma (PLC-gamma). Trk receptor activation has different consequences in different cells, and the specificity of downstream Trk receptor-mediated signaling is controlled through expression of intermediates in these signaling pathways and membrane trafficking that regulates localization of different signaling constituents. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Trk receptor-mediated signaling is its interplay with signaling promoted by the pan-neurotrophin receptor p75NTR. p75NTR activates a distinct set of signaling pathways within cells that are in some instances synergistic and in other instances antagonistic to those activated by Trk receptors. Several of these are proapoptotic but are suppressed by Trk receptor-initiated signaling. p75NTR also influences the conformations of Trk receptors; this modifies ligand-binding specificity and affinity with important developmental consequences.
Publication
Journal: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
April/3/2007
Abstract
Neurotrophins are a family of closely related proteins that were identified initially as survival factors for sensory and sympathetic neurons, and have since been shown to control many aspects of survival, development and function of neurons in both the peripheral and the central nervous systems. Each of the four mammalian neurotrophins has been shown to activate one or more of the three members of the tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) family of receptor tyrosine kinases (TrkA, TrkB and TrkC). In addition, each neurotrophin activates p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR), a member of the tumour necrosis factor receptor superfamily. Through Trk receptors, neurotrophins activate Ras, phosphatidyl inositol-3 (PI3)-kinase, phospholipase C-gamma1 and signalling pathways controlled through these proteins, such as the MAP kinases. Activation of p75NTR results in activation of the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) and Jun kinase as well as other signalling pathways. Limiting quantities of neurotrophins during development control the number of surviving neurons to ensure a match between neurons and the requirement for a suitable density of target innervation. The neurotrophins also regulate cell fate decisions, axon growth, dendrite growth and pruning and the expression of proteins, such as ion channels, transmitter biosynthetic enzymes and neuropeptide transmitters that are essential for normal neuronal function. Continued presence of the neurotrophins is required in the adult nervous system, where they control synaptic function and plasticity, and sustain neuronal survival, morphology and differentiation. They also have additional, subtler roles outside the nervous system. In recent years, three rare human genetic disorders, which result in deleterious effects on sensory perception, cognition and a variety of behaviours, have been shown to be attributable to mutations in brain-derived neurotrophic factor and two of the Trk receptors.
Publication
Journal: Nature Reviews Neuroscience
May/9/2003
Publication
Journal: Nature Reviews Neuroscience
March/29/2001
Abstract
The role of neurotrophins as regulatory factors that mediate the differentiation and survival of neurons has been well described. More recent evidence indicates that neurotrophins may also act as synaptic modulators. Here, I review the evidence that synaptic activity regulates the synthesis, secretion and action of neurotrophins, which can in turn induce immediate changes in synaptic efficacy and morphology. By this account, neurotrophins may participate in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, linking synaptic activity with long-term functional and structural modification of synaptic connections.
Authors
Publication
Journal: Science
December/31/2001
Abstract
Neurotrophins are growth factors that promote cell survival, differentiation, and cell death. They are synthesized as proforms that can be cleaved intracellularly to release mature, secreted ligands. Although proneurotrophins have been considered inactive precursors, we show here that the proforms of nerve growth factor (NGF) and the proforms of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are secreted and cleaved extracellularly by the serine protease plasmin and by selective matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). ProNGF is a high-affinity ligand for p75(NTR) with high affinity and induced p75NTR-dependent apoptosis in cultured neurons with minimal activation of TrkA-mediated differentiation or survival. The biological action of neurotrophins is thus regulated by proteolytic cleavage, with proforms preferentially activating p75NTR to mediate apoptosis and mature forms activating Trk receptors to promote survival.
Publication
Journal: Current Opinion in Neurobiology
August/24/2000
Abstract
Neurotrophins use two types of receptors, the Trk tyrosine kinase receptors and the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR), to regulate the growth, development, survival and repair of the nervous system. These receptors can either collaborate with or inhibit each other's actions to mediate neurotrophin effects. The development and survival of neurons is thus based upon the functional interplay of the signals generated by Trk and p75NTR. In the past two years, the signaling pathways used by these receptors, including Akt and MAPK-induced signaling via Trk, and JNK, p53, and NF-kappaB signaling via p75NTR, have been identified. In addition, a number of novel p75NTR-interacting proteins have been identified that transmit growth, survival, and apoptotic signals.
Publication
Journal: Nature
November/7/2000
Abstract
Neuronal apoptosis sculpts the developing brain and has a potentially important role in neurodegenerative diseases. The principal molecular components of the apoptosis programme in neurons include Apaf-1 (apoptotic protease-activating factor 1) and proteins of the Bcl-2 and caspase families. Neurotrophins regulate neuronal apoptosis through the action of critical protein kinase cascades, such as the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. Similar cell-death-signalling pathways might be activated in neurodegenerative diseases by abnormal protein structures, such as amyloid fibrils in Alzheimer's disease. Elucidation of the cell death machinery in neurons promises to provide multiple points of therapeutic intervention in neurodegenerative diseases.
Publication
Journal: Nature Reviews Neuroscience
June/17/2002
Abstract
Members of the nerve growth factor (NGF) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) families comprising neurotrophins and GDNF-family ligands (GFLs), respectively are crucial for the development and maintenance of distinct sets of central and peripheral neurons. Knockout studies in the mouse have revealed that members of these two families might collaborate or act sequentially in a given neuron. Although neurotrophins and GFLs activate common intracellular signalling pathways through their receptor tyrosine kinases, several clear differences exist between these families of trophic factors.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Neuroscience
April/22/2002
Abstract
Previous studies demonstrated that antidepressant treatment increases the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in rat hippocampus. The present study was conducted to test the hypothesis that BDNF in the hippocampus produces an antidepressant effect in behavioral models of depression, the learned helplessness (LH) and forced swim test (FST) paradigms. A single bilateral infusion of BDNF into the dentate gyrus of hippocampus produced an antidepressant effect in both the LH and FST that was comparable in magnitude with repeated systemic administration of a chemical antidepressant. These effects were observed as early as 3 d after a single infusion of BDNF and lasted for at least 10 d. Similar effects were observed with neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) but not nerve growth factor. Infusions of BDNF and NT-3 did not influence locomotor activity or passive avoidance. The results provide further support for the hypothesis that BDNF contributes to the therapeutic action of antidepressant treatment.
Publication
Journal: Neuron
June/2/1998
Abstract
CREB is a transcription factor implicated in the control of adaptive neuronal responses. Although one function of CREB in neurons is believed to be the regulation of genes whose products control synaptic function, the targets of CREB that mediate synaptic function have not yet been identified. This report describes experiments demonstrating that CREB or a closely related protein mediates Ca2+-dependent regulation of BDNF, a neurotrophin that modulates synaptic activity. In cortical neurons, Ca2+ influx triggers phosphorylation of CREB, which by binding to a critical Ca2+ response element (CRE) within the BDNF gene activates BDNF transcription. Mutation of the BDNF CRE or an adjacent novel regulatory element as well as a blockade of CREB function resulted in a dramatic loss of BDNF transcription. These findings suggest that a CREB family member acts cooperatively with an additional transcription factor(s) to regulate BDNF transcription. We conclude that the BDNF gene is a CREB family target whose protein product functions at synapses to control adaptive neuronal responses.
Publication
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
December/12/2005
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate cellular fate by controlling the stability or translation of mRNA transcripts. Although the spatial and temporal patterning of miRNA expression is tightly controlled, little is known about signals that induce their expression nor mechanisms of their transcriptional regulation. Furthermore, few miRNA targets have been validated experimentally. The miRNA, miR132, was identified through a genome-wide screen as a target of the transcription factor, cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB). miR132 is enriched in neurons and, like many neuronal CREB targets, is highly induced by neurotrophins. Expression of miR132 in cortical neurons induced neurite outgrowth. Conversely, inhibition of miR132 function attenuated neuronal outgrowth. We provide evidence that miR132 regulates neuronal morphogenesis by decreasing levels of the GTPase-activating protein, p250GAP. These data reveal that a CREB-regulated miRNA regulates neuronal morphogenesis by responding to extrinsic trophic cues.
Publication
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
October/22/1995
Abstract
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a member of the nerve growth factor (NGF) gene family, has been shown to influence the survival and differentiation of specific classes of neurons in vitro and in vivo. The possibility that neurotrophins are also involved in processes of neuronal plasticity has only recently begun to receive attention. To determine whether BDNF has a function in processes such as long-term potentiation (LTP), we produced a strain of mice with a deletion in the coding sequence of the BDNF gene. We then used hippocampal slices from these mice to investigate whether LTP was affected by this mutation. Homo- and heterozygous mutant mice showed significantly reduced LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. The magnitude of the potentiation, as well as the percentage of cases in which LTP could be induced successfully, was clearly affected. According to the criteria tested, important pharmacological, anatomical, and morphological parameters in the hippocampus of these animals appear to be normal. These results suggest that BDNF might have a functional role in the expression of LTP in the hippocampus.
Publication
Journal: Nature Reviews Neuroscience
February/12/2013
Abstract
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)--a member of a small family of secreted proteins that includes nerve growth factor, neurotrophin 3 and neurotrophin 4--has emerged as a key regulator of neural circuit development and function. The expression, secretion and actions of BDNF are directly controlled by neural activity, and secreted BDNF is capable of mediating many activity-dependent processes in the mammalian brain, including neuronal differentiation and growth, synapse formation and plasticity, and higher cognitive functions. This Review summarizes some of the recent progress in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurotrophin regulation of neural circuits. The focus of the article is on BDNF, as this is the most widely expressed and studied neurotrophin in the mammalian brain.
Publication
Journal: Annual Review of Neuroscience
May/12/1997
Abstract
The neurotrophins are a small group of dimeric proteins that profoundly affect the development of the nervous system of vertebrates. Recent studies have established clear correlations between the survival requirements for different neurotrophins of functionally distinct subsets of sensory neurons. The biological role of the neurotrophins is not limited to the prevention of programmed cell death of specific groups of neurons during development. Neurotrophin-3 in particular seems to act on neurons well before the period of target innervation and of normally occurring cell death. In animals lacking functional neurotrophin or receptor genes, neuronal numbers do not seem to be massively reduced in the CNS, unlike in the PNS. Finally, rapid actions of neurotrophins on synaptic efficacy, as well as the regulation of their mRNAs by electrical activity, suggest that neurotrophins might play important roles in regulating neuronal connectivity in the developing and in the adult central nervous system.
Publication
Journal: Nature Reviews Neuroscience
August/23/2005
Abstract
Neurotrophins have diverse functions in the CNS. Initially synthesized as precursors (proneurotrophins), they are cleaved to produce mature proteins, which promote neuronal survival and enhance synaptic plasticity by activating Trk receptor tyrosine kinases. Recent studies indicate that proneurotrophins serve as signalling molecules by interacting with the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR). Interestingly, proneurotrophins often have biological effects that oppose those of mature neurotrophins. Therefore, the proteolytic cleavage of proneurotrophins represents a mechanism that controls the direction of action of neurotrophins. New insights into the 'yin and yang' of neurotrophin activity have profound implications for our understanding of the role of neurotrophins in a wide range of cellular processes.
Publication
Journal: Science
November/22/1995
Abstract
There is increasing evidence that neurotrophins (NTs) are involved in processes of neuronal plasticity besides their well-established actions in regulating the survival, differentiation, and maintenance of functions of specific populations of neurons. Nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, NT-4/5, and corresponding antibodies dramatically modify the development of the visual cortex. Although the neuronal elements involved have not yet been identified, complementary studies of other systems have demonstrated that NT synthesis is rapidly regulated by neuronal activity and that NTs are released in an activity-dependent manner from neuronal dendrites. These data, together with the observation that NTs enhance transmitter release from neurons that express the corresponding signal-transducing Trk receptors, suggest a role for NTs as selective retrograde messengers that regulate synaptic efficacy.
Authors
Publication
Journal: Nature Methods
September/8/2005
Abstract
Investigation of axonal biology in the central nervous system (CNS) is hindered by a lack of an appropriate in vitro method to probe axons independently from cell bodies. Here we describe a microfluidic culture platform that polarizes the growth of CNS axons into a fluidically isolated environment without the use of targeting neurotrophins. In addition to its compatibility with live cell imaging, the platform can be used to (i) isolate CNS axons without somata or dendrites, facilitating biochemical analyses of pure axonal fractions and (ii) localize physical and chemical treatments to axons or somata. We report the first evidence that presynaptic (Syp) but not postsynaptic (Camk2a) mRNA is localized to developing rat cortical and hippocampal axons. The platform also serves as a straightforward, reproducible method to model CNS axonal injury and regeneration. The results presented here demonstrate several experimental paradigms using the microfluidic platform, which can greatly facilitate future studies in axonal biology.
Publication
Journal: Brain, Behavior, and Immunity
May/4/2011
Abstract
Over the past two decades it became evident that the immune system plays a central role in modulating learning, memory and neural plasticity. Under normal quiescent conditions, immune mechanisms are activated by environmental/psychological stimuli and positively regulate the remodeling of neural circuits, promoting memory consolidation, hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) and neurogenesis. These beneficial effects of the immune system are mediated by complex interactions among brain cells with immune functions (particularly microglia and astrocytes), peripheral immune cells (particularly T cells and macrophages), neurons, and neural precursor cells. These interactions involve the responsiveness of non-neuronal cells to classical neurotransmitters (e.g., glutamate and monoamines) and hormones (e.g., glucocorticoids), as well as the secretion and responsiveness of neurons and glia to low levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, and TNFα, as well as other mediators, such as prostaglandins and neurotrophins. In conditions under which the immune system is strongly activated by infection or injury, as well as by severe or chronic stressful conditions, glia and other brain immune cells change their morphology and functioning and secrete high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins. The production of these inflammatory mediators disrupts the delicate balance needed for the neurophysiological actions of immune processes and produces direct detrimental effects on memory, neural plasticity and neurogenesis. These effects are mediated by inflammation-induced neuronal hyper-excitability and adrenocortical stimulation, followed by reduced production of neurotrophins and other plasticity-related molecules, facilitating many forms of neuropathology associated with normal aging as well as neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases.
Publication
Journal: Science
April/12/1995
Abstract
The neurotrophins are signaling factors important for the differentiation and survival of distinct neuronal populations during development. To test whether the neurotrophins also function in the mature nervous system, the effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), and neurotrophic factor 3 (NT-3) on the strength of synaptic transmission in hippocampal slices were determined. Application of BDNF or NT-3 produced a dramatic and sustained (2 to 3 hours) enhancement of synaptic strength at the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses; NGF was without significant effect. The enhancement was blocked by K252a, an inhibitor of receptor tyrosine kinases. BDNF and NT-3 decreased paired-pulse facilitation, which is consistent with a possible presynaptic modification. Long-term potentiation could still be elicited in slices previously potentiated by exposure to the neurotrophic factors, which implies that these two forms of plasticity may use at least partially independent cellular mechanisms.
Publication
Journal: Brain research. Brain research reviews
March/3/1999
Abstract
This article reviews findings up to the end of 1997 about the inducible transcription factors (ITFs) c-Jun, JunB, JunD, c-Fos, FosB, Fra-1, Fra-2, Krox-20 (Egr-2) and Krox-24 (NGFI-A, Egr-1, Zif268); and the constitutive transcription factors (CTFs) CREB, CREM, ATF-2 and SRF as they pertain to gene expression in the mammalian nervous system. In the first part we consider basic facts about the expression and activity of these transcription factors: the organization of the encoding genes and their promoters, the second messenger cascades converging on their regulatory promoter sites, the control of their transcription, the binding to dimeric partners and to specific DNA sequences, their trans-activation potential, and their posttranslational modifications. In the second part we describe the expression and possible roles of these transcription factors in neural tissue: in the quiescent brain, during pre- and postnatal development, following sensory stimulation, nerve transection (axotomy), neurodegeneration and apoptosis, hypoxia-ischemia, generalized and limbic seizures, long-term potentiation and learning, drug dependence and withdrawal, and following stimulation by neurotransmitters, hormones and neurotrophins. We also describe their expression and possible roles in glial cells. Finally, we discuss the relevance of their expression for nervous system functioning under normal and patho-physiological conditions.
Publication
Journal: Nature Neuroscience
January/4/2008
Abstract
The 'neurotrophin hypothesis of depression' is based largely on correlations between stress or antidepressant treatment and down- or upregulation, respectively, of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Genetic disruption of the signaling pathways involving BDNF and its receptor, the tyrosine kinase TrkB, does not seem to cause depressive behaviors, but does hamper the effect of antidepressant drugs. Thus, BDNF may be a target of antidepressants, but not the sole mediator of depression or anxiety. Advances in BDNF cell biology, including its transcription through multiple promoters, trafficking and secretion, may provide new insights into its role in mood disorders. Moreover, as the precursor proBDNF and the mature protein mBDNF can elicit opposite effects on cellular functions, the impact of proBDNF and its cleavage on mood should be considered. Opposing influences of mBDNF and proBDNF on long-term potentiation and long-term depression might contribute to the dichotomy of BDNF actions on behaviors mediated by the brain stress and reward systems.
Publication
Journal: Physiological Reviews
February/8/2001
Abstract
Nearly 50 years ago, Chase published a review of hair cycling in which he detailed hair growth in the mouse and integrated hair biology with the biology of his day. In this review we have used Chase as our model and tried to put the adult hair follicle growth cycle in perspective. We have tried to sketch the adult hair follicle cycle, as we know it today and what needs to be known. Above all, we hope that this work will serve as an introduction to basic biologists who are looking for a defined biological system that illustrates many of the challenges of modern biology: cell differentiation, epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, stem cell biology, pattern formation, apoptosis, cell and organ growth cycles, and pigmentation. The most important theme in studying the cycling hair follicle is that the follicle is a regenerating system. By traversing the phases of the cycle (growth, regression, resting, shedding, then growth again), the follicle demonstrates the unusual ability to completely regenerate itself. The basis for this regeneration rests in the unique follicular epithelial and mesenchymal components and their interactions. Recently, some of the molecular signals making up these interactions have been defined. They involve gene families also found in other regenerating systems such as fibroblast growth factor, transforming growth factor-beta, Wnt pathway, Sonic hedgehog, neurotrophins, and homeobox. For the immediate future, our challenge is to define the molecular basis for hair follicle growth control, to regenerate a mature hair follicle in vitro from defined populations, and to offer real solutions to our patients' problems.
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