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PURPOSE - Delirium is prevalent but with unclear pathogenesis. Neuronal injury repair pathways may be protective. We hypothesized that higher concentrations of neuronal repair biomarkers would be associated with decreased delirium in critically ill patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - We performed a nested study of hospital survivors within a prospective cohort that enrolled patients within 72 h of respiratory failure or shock. We measured plasma concentrations of ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal-esterase-L1 (UCHL1) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) from blood collected at enrollment. Delirium was assessed twice daily using the CAM-ICU. Multivariable regression was used to examine the associations between biomarkers and delirium prevalence/duration, adjusting for covariates and interactions with age and IL-6 plasma concentration.
RESULTS - We included 427 patients with a median age of 59 years (IQR 48-69) and APACHE II score of 25 (IQR 19-30). Higher plasma concentration of UCHL1 on admission was independently associated with lower prevalence of delirium (p = .04) but not associated with duration of delirium (p = .06). BDNF plasma concentration was not associated with prevalence (p = .26) or duration of delirium (p = .36).
CONCLUSIONS - During critical illness, higher UCHL1 plasma concentration is associated with lower prevalence of delirium; BDNF plasma concentration is not associated with delirium. Clinical trial number: NCT00392795; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00392795.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is critical for establishing activity-related neural plasticity. There is increasing interest in the mechanisms of active avoidance and its extinction, but little is known about the role of BDNF in these processes. Using the platform-mediated avoidance task combined with local infusions of an antibody against BDNF, we show that blocking BDNF in either prelimbic (PL) or infralimbic (IL) medial prefrontal cortex during extinction training impairs subsequent recall of extinction of avoidance, differing from extinction of conditioned freezing. By combining retrograde tracers with BDNF immunohistochemistry, we show that extinction of avoidance increases BDNF expression in ventral hippocampal (vHPC) neurons, but not amygdala neurons, projecting to PL and IL. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 system, we further show that reducing BDNF production in vHPC neurons impairs recall of avoidance extinction. Thus, the vHPC may mediate behavioral flexibility in avoidance by driving extinction-related plasticity via BDNFergic projections to both PL and IL. These findings add to the growing body of knowledge implicating the hippocampal-prefrontal pathway in anxiety-related disorders and extinction-based therapies.
High levels of manganese (Mn) exposure decrease striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN) dendritic length and spine density, but the mechanism(s) are not known. The Huntingtin (HTT) gene has been functionally linked to cortical brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) support of striatal MSNs via phosphorylation at serine 421. In Huntington's disease, pathogenic CAG repeat expansions of HTT decrease synthesis and disrupt transport of cortical-striatal BDNF, which may contribute to disease, and Mn is a putative environmental modifier of Huntington's disease pathology. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that changes in MSN dendritic morphology Mn due to exposure are associated with decreased BDNF levels and alterations in Htt protein. We report that BDNF levels are decreased in the striatum of Mn-exposed non-human primates and in the cerebral cortex and striatum of mice exposed to Mn. Furthermore, proBDNF and mature BDNF concentrations in primary cortical and hippocampal neuron cultures were decreased by exposure to Mn confirming the in vivo findings. Mn exposure decreased serine 421 phosphorylation of Htt in cortical and hippocampal neurons and increased total Htt levels. These data strongly support the hypothesis that Mn-exposure-related MSN pathology is associated with decreased BDNF trophic support via alterations in Htt.
© 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.
Infusing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) into the infralimbic (IL) prefrontal cortex is capable of inducing extinction. Little is known, however, about the circuits mediating BDNF effects on extinction or the extent to which extinction requires BDNF in IL. Using local pharmacological infusion of BDNF protein, or an antibody against BDNF, we found that BDNF in the IL, but not prelimbic (PL) prefrontal cortex, is both necessary and sufficient for fear extinction. Furthermore, we report that BDNF in IL can induce extinction of older fear memories (14 days) as well as recent fear memories (1 day). Using immunocytochemistry, we show that BDNF is increased in the ventral hippocampus (vHPC), but not IL or PL, following extinction training. Finally, we observed that infusing BDNF into the vHPC increased the firing rate of IL, but not PL neurons in fear conditioned rats. These findings indicate that an extinction-induced increase in BDNF within the vHPC enhances excitability in IL targets, thereby supporting extinction memories.
BACKGROUND - In rodents, hypothalamic brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression appears to be regulated by melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) activity. The impact of MC4R genetic variation on circulating BDNF in humans is unknown.
OBJECTIVE - The objective of this study is to compare BDNF concentrations of subjects with loss-of-function (LOF) and gain-of-function (GOF) MC4R variants with those of controls with common sequence MC4R.
METHODS - Circulating BDNF was measured in two cohorts with known MC4R sequence: 148 subjects of Pima Indian heritage ((mean±s.d.): age, 15.7±6.5 years; body mass index z-scores (BMI-Z), 1.63±1.03) and 69 subjects of Hispanic heritage (10.8±3.6 years; BMI-Z, 1.57±1.07). MC4R variants were characterized in vitro by cell surface expression, receptor binding and cyclic AMP response after agonist administration. BDNF single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs12291186, rs6265 and rs7124442 were also genotyped.
RESULTS - In the Pima cohort, no significant differences in serum BDNF was observed for 43 LOF subjects versus 65 LOF-matched controls (age, sex and BMI matched; P=0.29) or 20 GOF subjects versus 20 GOF-matched controls (P=0.40). Serum BDNF was significantly associated with genotype for BDNF rs12291186 (P=0.006) and rs6265 (P=0.009), but not rs7124442 (P=0.99); BDNF SNPs did not interact with MC4R status to predict serum BDNF. In the Hispanic cohort, plasma BDNF was not significantly different among 21 LOF subjects, 20 GOF subjects and 28 controls (P=0.79); plasma BDNF was not predicted by BDNF genotype or BDNF-x-MC4R genotype interaction.
CONCLUSIONS - Circulating BDNF concentrations were not significantly associated with MC4R functional status, suggesting that peripheral BDNF does not directly reflect hypothalamic BDNF secretion and/or that MC4R signaling is not a significant regulator of the bulk of BDNF expression in humans.
RATIONALE - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating motor neuron disease causing paralysis and death from respiratory failure. Strategies to preserve and/or restore respiratory function are critical for successful treatment. Although breathing capacity is maintained until late in disease progression in rodent models of familial ALS (SOD1(G93A) rats and mice), reduced numbers of phrenic motor neurons and decreased phrenic nerve activity are observed. Decreased phrenic motor output suggests imminent respiratory failure.
OBJECTIVES - To preserve or restore phrenic nerve activity in SOD1(G93A) rats at disease end stage.
METHODS - SOD1(G93A) rats were injected with human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) bracketing the phrenic motor nucleus before disease onset, or exposed to acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) at disease end stage.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS - The capacity to generate phrenic motor output in anesthetized rats at disease end stage was: (1) transiently restored by a single presentation of AIH; and (2) preserved ipsilateral to hNPC transplants made before disease onset. hNPC transplants improved ipsilateral phrenic motor neuron survival.
CONCLUSIONS - AIH-induced respiratory plasticity and stem cell therapy have complementary translational potential to treat breathing deficits in patients with ALS.
Failure of anterograde transport to distal targets in the brain is a common feature of neurodegenerative diseases. We have demonstrated in rodent models of glaucoma, the most common optic neuropathy, early loss of anterograde transport along the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) projection to the superior colliculus (SC) is retinotopic and followed by a period of persistence of RGC axon terminals and synapses through unknown molecular pathways. Here we use the DBA/2J mouse model of hereditary glaucoma and an acute rat model to demonstrate that retinotopically focal transport deficits in the SC are accompanied by a spatially coincident increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), especially in hypertrophic astrocytes. These neurochemical changes occur prior to loss of RGC synapses in the DBA/2J SC. In contrast to BDNF protein, levels of Bdnf mRNA decreased with transport failure, even as mRNA encoding synaptic structures remained unchanged. In situ hybridization signal for Bdnf mRNA was the strongest in SC neurons, and labeling for the immature precursor pro-BDNF was very limited. Subcellular fractionation of SC indicated that membrane-bound BDNF decreased with age in the DBA/2J, while BDNF released from vesicles remained high. These results suggest that in response to diminished axonal function, activated astrocytes in the brain may sequester mature BDNF released from target neurons to counter stressors that otherwise would challenge survival of projection synapses.
Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DARPP-32 (dopamine and adenosine 3', 5'-cyclic monophosphate cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, 32 kDa) is a striatal-enriched protein that mediates signaling by dopamine and other first messengers in the medium spiny neurons. The transcriptional mechanisms that regulate striatal DARPP-32 expression remain enigmatic and are a subject of much interest in the efforts to induce a striatal phenotype in stem cells. We report the identification and characterization of a conserved region, also known as H10, in intron IV of the gene that codes for DARPP-32 (Ppp1r1b). This DNA sequence forms multiunit complexes with nuclear proteins from adult and embryonic striata of mice and rats. Purification of proteins from these complexes identified early growth response-1 (Egr-1). The interaction between Egr-1 and H10 was confirmed in vitro and in vivo by super-shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, respectively. Importantly, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a known inducer of DARPP-32 and Egr-1 expression, enhanced Egr-1 binding to H10 in vitro. Moreover, overexpression of Egr-1 in primary striatal neurons induced the expression of DARPP-32, whereas a dominant-negative Egr-1 blocked DARPP-32 induction by BDNF. Together, this study identifies Egr-1 as a transcriptional activator of the Ppp1r1b gene and provides insight into the molecular mechanisms that regulate medium spiny neuron maturation.
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val(66) Met allelic variation is linked to both the occurrence of mood disorders and antidepressant response. These findings are not universally observed, and the mechanism by which this variation results in increased risk for mood disorders is unclear. One possible explanation is an epistatic relationship with other neurotransmitter genes associated with depression risk, such as the serotonin-transporter-linked promotor region (5-HTTLPR). Further, it is unclear how the coexistence of the BDNF Met and 5-HTTLPR S variants affects the function of the affective and cognitive control systems. To address this question, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in 38 older adults (20 healthy and 18 remitted from major depressive disorder). Subjects performed an emotional oddball task during the fMRI scan and provided blood samples for genotyping. Our analyses examined the relationship between genotypes and brain activation to sad distractors and attentional targets. We found that 5-HTTLPR S allele carriers exhibited stronger activation in the amygdala in response to sad distractors, whereas BDNF Met carriers exhibited increased activation to sad stimuli but decreased activation to attentional targets in the dorsolateral prefrontal and dorsomedial prefrontal cortices. In addition, subjects with both the S allele and Met allele genes exhibited increased activation to sad stimuli in the subgenual cingulate and posterior cingulate. Our results indicate that the Met allele alone or in combination with 5-HTTLPR S allele may increase reactivity to sad stimuli, which might represent a neural mechanism underlying increased depression vulnerability.
© 2012 The Authors. Genes, Brain and Behavior © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.