Petersén Å, Larsen KE, Behr GG, Romero N, Przedborski S, Brundin P, and Sulzer D.
Section for Neuronal Survival, Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Brain Research Bulletin 56(3-4): 331-335 (2001)
In hereditary Huntington's disease, a triplet repeat disease, there is extensive loss of striatal neurons. It has been shown that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protects striatal neurons against a variety of insults. We confirmed that BDNF enhances survival and DARPP-32 expression in primary striatal cultures derived from postnatal mice. Furthermore, BDNF inhibited intracellular oxyradical stress triggered by dopamine, and partially blocked basal and dopamine-induced apoptosis. Nevertheless, BDNF failed to rescue striatal neurons from dopamine-induced cell death. Therefore, BDNF inhibits free radical and apoptotic pathways in medium spiny neurons, but does so downstream from the point of commitment to cell death.