Expression of trkB and trkC receptors and their ligands brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 in the murine amygdala

S Krause, K Schindowski, S Zechel, O von Bohlen und Halbach
Journal of Neuroscience Research 2008 February 1, 86 (2): 411-21
The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and their cognate receptors, trkB and trkC, have a variety of physiological brain functions, ranging from cell survival to mechanisms involved in learning and memory and long-term potentiation (LTP). LTP can be induced in the cortex and hippocampus, as well as within the amygdala. However, the role of neurotrophins in amygdalar LTP is largely unknown. Expression patterns of BDNF and NT-3 and their cognate receptors in the adult mouse amygdala have not been analyzed in detail. We have therefore examined the expression of trkB, trkC, BDNF, and NT-3 mRNA and protein in different amygdalar nuclei as well as in the hippocampal areas CA1-CA3 and the dentate gyrus. The distribution pattern of trkB, trkC, BDNF, and NT-3 mRNA in the murine hippocampus is comparable to that seen in rats. Within most amygdalar nuclei, a moderate BDNF mRNA expression was found; however, BDNF mRNA was virtually absent from the central nucleus. No expression of NT-3 mRNA was found within the amygdala, but trkC mRNA-expressing cells were widely distributed within this brain region. trkB mRNA was strongly expressed in the amygdala. Because trkB is expressed in a full-length and a truncated form (the latter form is also expressed by nonneuronal cells), we also investigated the distribution of full-length trkB mRNA-expressing cells and could demonstrate that this version of trkB receptors is also widely expressed in the amygdala. These results can serve as a basis for studies elucidating the physiological roles of these receptors in the amygdala.

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