Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), like other neurotrophins, is a polypeptide factor initially regarded to be responsible for neuron proliferation, differentiation and survival through its uptake at nerve terminals and retrograde transport to the cell body (1). BDNF has been linked to a variety of neurological and psychological conditions such as Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and anxiety. Studies show that transgenic overexpression of the neurotrophin BDNF has an unexpected facilitatory effect on anxiety-like behavior, concomitant with increased spinogenesis in the basolateral amygdala (2). In addition, BDNF enhances the neurite outgrowth on immature astrocytes. A multifactorial strategy based on transplantation of neonatal astrocytes in the presence of additional BDNF may stimulate axon regrowth after experimental injury to the central nervous system (3). The precursor pro-BDNF is 27-34 kDa before proteolytic cleavage, whereas the mature form of BDNF is 14 kDa.
MAPK signaling pathway
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