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Dopamine D1-like receptor activation induces brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein expression

Williams, Stacey N.a; Undieh, Ashiwel S.b

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32832a0a98

Recent studies showed that dopamine or D1 receptor-selective agonists increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA and protein expression in neuronal cultures, and this action was blocked by SCH23390. Moreover, SKF38393 activated Trk receptors and downstream signaling in striatal neurons. This study examined whether dopamine agonists induce the expression of BDNF protein in rat brain tissue. Acute slice preparations were incubated with dopamine agonists in Hibernate A medium and BDNF protein was measured by a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results showed that dopamine increased BDNF in tissue slices after 24 h of incubation. Furthermore, SKF38393 produced a significant increase in BDNF protein in striatal and hippocampal tissue slices. These findings suggest that the induction of BDNF expression may constitute a downstream response to D1-like dopamine receptor activation.

aDepartment of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, Maryland

bDepartment of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Thomas Jefferson University School of Pharmacy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Correspondence to Dr Ashiwel S. Undieh, Thomas Jefferson University, 130 South 9th Street, Suite 1540, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA

Tel: +1 215 503 8809; fax: +1 215 503 9052; e-mail:

Received 29 January 2009 accepted 2 February 2009

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.