Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is mainly expressed in the central nervous system. It has attracted much attention as a depression candidate gene.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is mainly expressed in the central nervous system, particularly in the cortex, hippocampus, and forebrain. Neurotrophic factors promote the survival of neurons by preventing associated signals that initiate programmed cell death. Govindarajan and colleagues (2006) found that transgenic mice who overexpressed BDNF showed anxious behavior and had abnormalities in amygdala neurons that were similar to mice that experienced chronic stress. By contrast, mice who overexpressed BDNF showed decreased depressive-like behavior and healthy hippocampus activity that mimicked the effect of antidepressives. In 2003, a paper by Egan and colleagues identified a single nucleotide polymorphism in humans that causes an amino acid substitution from valine to methionine at codon 66 (V66M). The presence of this polymorphism was associated with depression under stressful circumstances. However, two large-scale studies in 2005 and 2006 failed to replicate this finding. There is some evidence that the V66M polymorphism may be a genetic cause for bipolar disorder.
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- ID: 1465
- Source: DNALC.G2C
Doctor Abraham Zangen point out that dopamine and BDNF levels in the nucleus accumbens and hippocampus of depressed patients are different. Treatment with antidepressants or ECT can impact these differences.
Doctor Abraham Zangen describes how transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may affect levels of BDNF in the hippocampus, thereby treating depression.
The search for candidate genes for depression is complicated by complex gene-environment interactions and the fact that the disorder takes many different forms.
Individual variations in antidepressant treatment outcomes.
Professor Bruce McEwen introduces BDNF, a class of neurotrophic molecules released by excitatory neurotransmission and associated with key process and disorders.
An overview of bipolar disorder-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
An overview of depression-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
Professor Bruce McEwen discusses the remodeling of dendrites, which are affected by BDNF, TPA, cell-adhesion molecules, and a number of other factors.
While many genes and loci have subsequently been found to associate with bipolar disorder, none have been unambiguously identified as causal.