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Science 291 (5512): 2419-2423

Copyright © 2001 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Activity-Dependent Transfer of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor to Postsynaptic Neurons

Keigo Kohara, Akihiko Kitamura, Mieko Morishima, Tadaharu Tsumoto*

Neurotrophins such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are thought to be transferred from post- to presynaptic neurons and to be involved in the formation and plasticity of neural circuits. However, direct evidence for a transneuronal transfer of BDNF and its relation to neuronal activity remains elusive. We simultaneously injected complementary DNAs of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged BDNF and red fluorescence protein into the nucleus of single neurons and visualized expression, localization, and transport of BDNF in living neurons. Fluorescent puncta representing BDNF moved in axons in the anterograde direction, though some moved retrogradely, and transferred to postsynaptic neurons in an activity-dependent manner.

Division of Neurophysiology, Biomedical Research Center, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 Japan, and CREST, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, 1-8, Honcho 4-chome, Kawaguchi, 332-0012, Japan.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: ttsumoto{at}nphys.med.osaka-u.ac.jp


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