Role of the cholinergic system in the regulation of neurotrophin synthesis

Juan Yu, Donald P. Pizzo, Leslie A. Hutton, J. Regino Perez-Polo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) are members of the family of neurotrophins that are highly expressed in the adult hippocampus, and to a lesser extent, in the cerebral cortex and olfactory bulb. Since neuronal expression of neurotrophins is controlled by some neurotransmitters and there is a topographical correlation between neurotrophin expression and cholinergic terminal distribution from the cholinergic basal forebrain (CBF) neurons in these areas, the question arises as to whether the cholinergic system can also regulate neurotrophin gene expression in the CNS. When CBF neurons were selectively and completely destroyed by intraventricular injection of 192 IgG-saporin, resulting in a cholinergic deafferentation of the hippocampus, cortex, and olfactory bulb, there were no siginificant changes in NGF, BDNF and/or NT-3 mRNA levels in these areas from 1 week to 5 months after the lesion. These results suggest that afferents from CBF neurons may not play a significant role in maintaining basal levels of neurotrophin gene expression in the adult rat brain under physiological conditions. However, potential cholinergic regulation of brain neurontrophin expression may occur under other circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-254
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 24 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Cholinergic basal forebrain neuron
  • Immunolesion
  • Neurotrophin
  • mRNA expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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