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Keywords:

  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 (mGluR2);
  • corticotrophin-releasing factor receptor-1 (CRF-R1);
  • synapse;
  • serotonin receptor 2A (5-HT2AR);
  • receptor regulation

ABSTRACT

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is important for neuronal survival and plasticity. Incorporation of matured receptor proteins is an integral part of synapse formation. However, whether BDNF increases synthesis and integration of receptors in functional synapses directly is unclear. We are particularly interested in the regulation of the 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 2A (5-HT2AR). This receptor form a functional complex with the metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 (mGluR2) and is recruited to the cell membrane by the corticotrophin-releasing factor receptor 1 (CRF-R1). The effect of BDNF on gene expression for all these receptors, as well as a number of immediate-early genes, was pharmacologically characterized in primary neurons from rat frontal cortex. BDNF increased CRF-R1 mRNA levels up to fivefold, whereas mGluR2 mRNA levels were proportionally downregulated. No effect on 5-HT2AR mRNA was seen. The effects were dose-dependent with half-maximal effective concentrations (EC50) around 1 ng/ml. After 24 h of incubation with BDNF, CRF-R1 mRNA levels had returned to baseline levels, whereas mGluR2 mRNA levels remained low. A significant reduction of all three receptor transcripts was observed after neuronal depolarization produced by high potassium. This study emphasizes the role of BDNF as an important regulator of receptor compositions in the synapse and provides further evidence that BDNF directly regulates important drug targets involved in cognition and mood. Synapse 67:794–800, 2013.. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.