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      BDNF Actions in the Cardiovascular System: Roles in Development, Adulthood and Response to Injury

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          The actions of BDNF (Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor) in regulating neuronal development and modulating synaptic activity have been extensively studied and well established. Equally important roles for this growth factor have been uncovered in the cardiovascular system, through the examination of gene targeted animals to define critical actions in development, and to the unexpected roles of BDNF in modulating the response of the heart and vasculature to injury. Here we review the compartmentally distinct realm of cardiac myocytes, vascular smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, and hematopoietic cells, focusing upon the actions of BDNF to modulate contractility, migration, neoangiogenesis, apoptosis and survival. These studies indicate that BDNF is an important growth factor which directs the response of the cardiovascular system to acute and chronic injury.

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          Most cited references 51

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          ProBDNF induces neuronal apoptosis via activation of a receptor complex of p75NTR and sortilin.

          Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is best characterized for critical roles in neuronal survival, differentiation, and synaptic modulation mediated by the TrkB receptor tyrosine kinase. Developmentally regulated death signaling by BDNF has also been demonstrated via activation of p75NTR. Because recent studies suggest that proNGF, the precursor form of NGF, is more active than mature NGF in inducing apoptosis after binding to p75NTR and a coreceptor, sortilin, we asked whether the precursor of BDNF (proBDNF) is also a proapoptotic ligand in the nervous system. proBDNF is secreted by cultured neurons, and recombinant proBDNF binds to sortilin. In sympathetic neurons coexpressing sortilin and p75NTR, we found that proBDNF is an apoptotic ligand that induces death at subnanomolar concentrations. In contrast, mature BDNF, but not proBDNF, is effective in inducing TrkB phosphorylation. proBDNF effects are dependent on cellular coexpression of both p75NTR and sortilin, because neurons deficient in p75NTR are resistant to proBDNF-induced apoptosis, and competitive antagonists of sortilin block sympathetic neuron death. Moreover, addition of preformed complexes of soluble sortilin and proBDNF failed to induce apoptosis of cells coexpressing both sortilin and p75NTR, suggesting that interaction of proBDNF with both receptors on the cell surface is required to initiate cell death. Together with our past findings, these data suggest that the neurotrophin family is capable of modulating diverse biological processes via differential processing of the proneurotrophins.
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            Variant brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (Met66) alters the intracellular trafficking and activity-dependent secretion of wild-type BDNF in neurosecretory cells and cortical neurons.

            Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a critical role in nervous system and cardiovascular development and function. Recently, a common single nucleotide polymorphism in the bdnf gene, resulting in a valine to methionine substitution in the prodomain (BDNF(Met)), has been shown to lead to memory impairment and susceptibility to neuropsychiatric disorders in humans heterozygous for the variant BDNF. When expressed by itself in hippocampal neurons, less BDNF(Met) is secreted in an activity-dependent manner. The nature of the cellular defect when both BDNF(Met) and wild-type BDNF (BDNF(Val)) are present in the same cell is not known. Given that this is the predominant expression profile in humans, we examined the effect of coexpressed BDNF(Met) on BDNF(Val) intracellular trafficking and processing. Our data indicate that abnormal trafficking of BDNF(Met) occurred only in neuronal and neurosecretory cells and that BDNF(Met) could alter the intracellular distribution and activity-dependent secretion of BDNF(Val). We determined that, when coexpressed in the same cell, approximately 70% of the variant BDNF forms BDNF(Val).BDNF(Met) heterodimers, which are inefficiently sorted into secretory granules resulting in a quantitative decreased secretion. Finally, we determined the form of BDNF secreted in an activity-dependent manner and observed no differences in the forms of BDNF(Met) or the BDNF(Val).BDNF(Met) heterodimer compared with BDNF(Val). Together, these findings indicate that components of the regulated secretory machinery interacts specifically with a signal in the BDNF prodomain and that perturbations in BDNF trafficking may lead to selective impairment in CNS function.
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              The Trk family of neurotrophin receptors.

               M Barbacid (1994)
              Accumulating evidence indicates that the Trk family of tyrosine protein kinase receptors, Trk (also known as TrkA), TrkB, and TrkC, are responsible for mediating the trophic effects of the NGF family of neurotrophins. Nerve growth factor (NGF) specifically recognizes Trk, a receptor identified in all major NGF targets, including sympathetic, trigeminal, and dorsal root ganglia as well as in cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain and the striatum. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) specifically activate the TrkB tyrosine kinase receptor. trkB transcripts encoding this receptor are found throughout multiple structures of the central and peripheral nervous system. Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) primarily activates the TrkC tyrosine protein kinases, four related isoforms encoded by alternative splicing of trkC, a gene also widely expressed throughout the mammalian nervous system. Unlike the other neurotrophins, NT-3 appears to be somewhat promiscuous since it can activate Trk and TrkB kinase receptors, at least in certain cell systems. The trkB and trkC genes also encode noncatalytic neurotrophin receptor isoforms of an as yet, unknown function. Recently, strains of mice lacking each of these tyrosine kinase receptors have been generated. Preliminary characterization of these mutant mice has provided significant information regarding the role of these receptors in the ontogeny of the mammalian nervous system. For instance, mice deficient for Trk receptors lack most sympathetic neurons and do not display nociceptive and temperature sensations, two defects likely to result from severe neuronal cell loss in their trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia. Mice lacking TrkB tyrosine kinase receptors die postnatally due to their inability to intake food. Neuron cell loss in their trigeminal, nodose and petrosal sensory ganglia as well as in the facial motor nucleus are likely to contribute to this phenotype. Finally, TrkC-deficient mice display strikingly abnormal movements consistent with loss of proprioception, a defect likely to be a consequence of the complete loss of Ia muscle afferents observed in this mutant mice.

                Author and article information

                1Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College , New York, NY, United States
                2Brain and Mind Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medical College , New York, NY, United States
                Author notes

                Edited by: Mart Saarma, University of Helsinki, Finland

                Reviewed by: Ilkka H. A. Heinonen, University of Turku, Finland; Jason N. Peart, Griffith University, Australia

                *Correspondence: Barbara Hempstead, blhempst@

                This article was submitted to Clinical and Translational Physiology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Physiology

                Front Physiol
                Front Physiol
                Front. Physiol.
                Frontiers in Physiology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                26 April 2019
                : 10
                6498408 10.3389/fphys.2019.00455
                Copyright © 2019 Kermani and Hempstead.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Figures: 3, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 51, Pages: 8, Words: 0


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