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Remyelination modulators in multiple sclerosis patients.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a complex autoimmune neuro-inflammatory disorder characterized by persistent MS plaques in the central nervous system. Resolution of MS plaques is dependent on the remyelination competence of surviving oligodendrocytes and surrounding environment. Here, we assessed myelination modulators in a 100 MS patients against 77 healthy controls. Plasma fractions were used for the assessment of insulin growth factor binding protein1 (IGFBP1), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and lipocalin2 (LCN2) using a Luminex multiplex assay, whereas neurofilament light chain (NF-L) was assessed with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Circulating levels of IGFBP1, LCN2 and NF-L were significantly higher in MS patients (p<0.01). Whereas BDNF levels were significantly lower in MS patients (p=0.014). MS Female patients had significantly higher levels of IGFBP1 compared to male MS patients (p=0.006). MS patients treated with fingolimod had higher LCN2 levels compared to those on natalizumab (r=0.25, p=0.03). Higher NF-L levels associated with clinically isolated syndrome's (CIS) conversion into MS (p=0.002). We conclude that low BDNF and high LCN2 and NF-L levels are associated with MS pathogenesis, and high IGFBP1level is a biomarker for female MS only, suggesting different MS progression pathways between the sexes. LCN2 is a candidate predictor of response to natalizumab treatment, and NF-L is a candidate predictor of CIS conversion into MS.

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Assessment of Neurotrophins and Inflammatory Mediators in Vitreous of Patients With Diabetic Retinopathy.

To assess vitreous levels of inflammatory cytokines and neurotrophins (NTs) in diabetic retinopathy (DR) and elucidate their potential roles.

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Different levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and cortisol in healthy heavy smokers.

Studies suggest that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis modulate dopaminergic activity in response to nicotine and that the concentrations of BDNF and cortisol seem to be dependent on the amount and duration of smoking. Therefore, we investigated BDNF and cortisol levels in smokers ranked by daily cigarette consumption. Twenty-seven adult males (13 non-smokers and 14 smokers) participated in the study. The smokers were divided in two groups: light (n=7) and heavy smokers (n=7). Anthropometric parameters and age were paired between the groups, and plasma BDNF and salivary cortisol levels were measured. Saliva samples were collected on awakening, 30 min after awakening, at 10:00 and 12:00 am, 5:00 and 10:00 pm. Additionally, cotinine serum levels were measured in smokers. Heavy smokers had higher mean values of BDNF compared to the control group (P=0.01), whereas no difference was observed in light smokers. Moreover, heavy smokers presented lower cortisol levels in the last collection (10:00 pm) than the control group (P=0.02) and presented statically higher values of cotinine than the light smokers (P=0.002). In conclusion, changes in BDNF and cortisol levels (10:00 pm) appear to be dependent on heavy cigarette smoking and can be involved in activation and in the relationship between the mesolimbic system and the HPA axis.

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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is increased in serum levels of patients with symptomatic dermographism.

Symptomatic dermographism (SD) is the most common form of physical urticaria. However, the role of neuroimmune mechanisms in SD is unclear.

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The ameliorative effects and underlying mechanisms of dopamine D1-like receptor agonist SKF38393 on Aβ1-42-induced cognitive impairment.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disease characterized by extracellular amyloid plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. It is the most common form of human cognitive decline and dementia. In this study, we aim to systematically investigate the ameliorative effects of dopamine D1-like receptor agonist SKF38393 on cognitive dysfunction and explore its underlying mechanisms. The Aβ1-42 was injected intracerebroventricularly to establish cognitive disorder model. Then, a series of behavior tests were used. In order to further study the mechanisms, some relevant protein was assessed by ELISA method and Western blot. The results in behavior tests revealed that SKF38393 significantly ameliorated all the test indexes compared with the model mice. Then SKF38393 increased phosphorylation of cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) and expression of Bcl-2 in Western blot analyses. Furthermore, in ELISA assay, SKF38393 significantly increased the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels and reduced the β-site APP cleaving enzyme1 (BACE1) and Aβ1-42 levels in hippocampus and cortex of mice. However, compared with SKF38393-H, all these results were significantly reversed by the dopamine D1 receptor antagonist SCH23390. These results indicated that SKF38393 could ameliorate Aβ1-42-induced cognitive dysfunction in mice, which may be related to D1 receptor activation. It leads to the phosphorylation of CREB, which promote the expression of BDNF, Bcl-2 and decrease the expression of Aβ1-42 of mice. Our findings suggest that dopamine D1-like receptor may be a potential target for the treatment of AD and its agonists may become a novel drug in the future.

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Multiplex quantitative assays indicate a need for reevaluating reported small-molecule TrkB agonists.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor, tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB), have emerged as key regulators of brain plasticity and represent disease-modifying targets for several brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and major depressive disorder. Because of poor pharmacokinetic properties of BDNF, the interest in small-molecule TrkB agonists and modulators is high. Several compounds have been reported to act as TrkB agonists, and their increasing use in various nervous system disorder models creates the perception that these are reliable probes. To examine key pharmacological parameters of these compounds in detail, we have developed and optimized a series of complementary quantitative assays that measure TrkB receptor activation, TrkB-dependent downstream signaling, and gene expression in different cellular contexts. Although BDNF and other neurotrophic factors elicited robust and dose-dependent receptor activation and downstream signaling, we were unable to reproduce these activities using the reported small-molecule TrkB agonists. Our findings indicate that experimental results obtained with these compounds must be carefully interpreted and highlight the challenge of developing reliable pharmacological activators of this key molecular target.

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Effects of Chinese medicinal herbs on expression of brain-derived Neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its interaction with human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells and endothelial HUVECs.

Our previous study demonstrated that an up-regulation of the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) signaling pathway is involved the mechanism causing the recurrence of triple negative breast cancer. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of commonly used Chinese medicinal herbs on MDA-MB-231 and HUVEC cells and how they interact with BDNF.

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Maintenance of a Schwann-Like Phenotype in Differentiated Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Requires the Synergistic Action of Multiple Growth Factors.

Differentiating human adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) towards Schwann cells produces an unstable phenotype when stimulating factors are withdrawn. Here, we set out to examine the role of glial growth factor 2 (GGF-2) in the maintenance of Schwann-like cells. Following ASC differentiation to Schwann-like cells, stimulating factors were withdrawn such that cells either remained in media supplemented with all stimulating factors, GGF-2 alone, or underwent complete withdrawal of all factors. Furthermore, each stimulating factor was also removed from the growth medium individually. At 72 hours, gene (qRT-PCR) and protein (ELISA) expression of key Schwann cell factors were quantified and cell morphology was analysed. Cells treated with GGF-2 alone reverted to a stem cell morphology and did not stimulate the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), regardless of the concentration of GGF-2 in the growth medium. However, GGF-2 alone increased the expression of Krox20, the main transcription factor involved in myelination, relative to those cells treated with all stimulating factors. Cells lacking fibroblast growth factor were unable to maintain a Schwann-like morphology, and those lacking forskolin exhibited a downregulation in BDNF production. Therefore, it is likely that the synergistic action of multiple growth factors is required to maintain Schwann-like phenotype in differentiated ASCs.

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The effect of childhood trauma on serum BDNF in bipolar depression is modulated by the serotonin promoter genotype.

In healthy humans, both childhood trauma and the short form of the serotonin promoter transporter genotype (5-HTTLPR) are associated with lower levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In subjects with bipolar disorder (BD), lower levels of BDNF and a higher degree of childhood trauma were observed compared with healthy controls. However, is still unknown if the functional 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms exerts an effect on both abnormalities. In 40 inpatients affected by a major depressive episode in the course of BD, we genotyped 5-HTTLPR, measured serum BDNF with ELISA, and assessed early adversities by the childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ). Data were analyzed in the context of the general linear model correcting for age, sex, ongoing lithium treatment, severity of current depression, and CTQ minimization/denial scores to investigate the effect of 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and childhood trauma on BDNF levels. Early trauma were negatively associated with BDNF serum levels (higher CTQ scores, lower BDNF; p=0.0019). 5-HTTLPR l/l homozygotes showed significantly higher BDNF levels than 5-HTTLPR*s carriers (30.57±6.13 vs 26.82±6.41; p=0.0309). A separate-slopes analysis showed that 5-HTTLPR significantly influenced the relationship between early trauma and adult BDNF (interaction of 5-HTTLPR with CTQ scores: p=0.0023), due to a significant relationship between trauma and BDNF in 5-HTTLPR*s carriers, but not among l/l homozygotes. Putatively detrimental effects of childhood trauma exposure on adult BDNF serum levels are influenced by 5-HTTLPR genotype in patients affected by BD. Possible mechanisms include epigenetic modulation of BDNF gene expression, due to different reactivity to stressors in 5-HTTLPR genotype groups.

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Telomere length and hTERT in mania and subsequent remission.

The findings of telomere length (TL) studies in bipolar disorder (BD) are controversial. The aim of the present study was to detect TL, human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in severe mania and subsequent remission.

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