Elevated glial brain-derived neurotrophic factor in Parkinson's diseased nigra

C Knott, G Stern, A Kingsbury, A A Welcher, G P Wilkin
Parkinsonism & related Disorders 2002, 8 (5): 329-41
We show the cellular distribution of immunoreactivity (IR) for brain-derived-neurotrophic-factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and tyrosine kinase receptors TRKB and TRKC in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) and controls at post-mortem. In both groups, nigral neurons, astrocytes, ramified and amoeboid microglia expressed all antigens. Caudate-putamen neurons expressed all antigens except BDNF with similar distribution between groups. In IPD nigra, increased numbers of BDNF-IR and, less frequently, NT-3-IR ramified glia surrounded fragmented neurons, accompanied by BDNF-IR in surrounding neuropil. Amoeboid microglia were abundant only in IPD nigral scars. In IPD, glia might up-regulate neurotrophins in response to signals released from failing nigral neurons.

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