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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Induction of brain derived neurotrophic factor mRNA by seizures in neonatal and juvenile rat brain.

Seizures have been shown to regulate neurotrophin expression in adult mammalian brain. However, there has been some controversy as to whether seizures affect neurotrophin expression in very immature brain. In the present study, we have examined the effects of seizures induced by pilocarpine following lithium pretreatment or by kainic acid on the expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA in developing rat brain by in situ hybridization. In adult brain, lithium/pilocarpine treatment resulted in dramatic elevations of hybridization to BDNF cRNA in neocortical and limbic brain structures. In developing brain, lithium/pilocarpine induced elevations of BDNF mRNA in the hippocampus, piriform and entorhinal cortex as early as postnatal day 7 (P7). By P12, the pattern of enhanced expression was similar to that of the adult. Maximal elevations of hybridization were present 2 to 4 h following pilocarpine injection. Electrophysiological recording demonstrated that lithium/pilocarpine treatment resulted in electrographic seizures. Pretreatment with diazepam blocked the seizures as well as the elevation of BDNF mRNA. Kainic acid induced elevations of BDNF mRNA in the CA3 subfield of the hippocampal pyramidal cell layer, but not in other brain areas in pups as young as P7. These data indicate that seizures during the neonatal and early juvenile period of brain development induce elevated BDNF mRNA expression, and that different methods of seizure induction yield different patterns of elevations in hybridization. Furthermore, BDNF may be capable of playing a role in the development of seizure susceptibility in the immature brain.[1]


  1. Induction of brain derived neurotrophic factor mRNA by seizures in neonatal and juvenile rat brain. Kornblum, H.I., Sankar, R., Shin, D.H., Wasterlain, C.G., Gall, C.M. Brain Res. Mol. Brain Res. (1997) [Pubmed]
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