Eero Castrén

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We investigated whether fluoxetine, a widely prescribed medication for treatment of depression, restores neuronal plasticity in the adult visual system of the rat. We found that chronic administration of fluoxetine reinstates ocular dominance plasticity in adulthood and promotes the recovery of visual functions in adult amblyopic animals, as tested(More)
Antidepressants increase proliferation of neuronal progenitor cells and expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus. We investigated the role of BDNF signaling in antidepressant-induced neurogenesis by using transgenic mice with either reduced BDNF levels (BDNF+/-) or impaired trkB activation (trkB.T1-overexpressing mice). In(More)
Recent studies have indicated that exogenously administered neurotrophins produce antidepressant-like behavioral effects. We have here investigated the role of endogenous brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor trkB in the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs. We found that trkB.T1-overexpressing transgenic mice, which show reduced(More)
Specific sensory input has profound transient and long-lasting effects on the function of corresponding sensory cortical areas both during development and in adulthood. To study whether neurotrophic factors might play a role in such processes, we investigated the effects of light on the nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA(More)
Major depression is associated with reduced volumes in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, whereas antidepressant treatments promote several forms of neuronal plasticity, including neurogenesis, synaptogenesis and neuronal maturation, in the hippocampus. Several neurotrophic factors are associated with depression or antidepressant action. Stress(More)
The chemical hypothesis of depression suggests that mood disorders are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which can be corrected by antidepressant drugs. However, recent evidence indicates that problems in information processing within neural networks, rather than changes in chemical balance, might underlie depression, and that antidepressant(More)
In the central nervous system brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) are predominantly located in neurons. Here we demonstrate that the balance between the activity of the glutamatergic and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic systems controls the physiological levels of BDNF and NGF mRNAs in hippocampal neurons in vitro and(More)
Recent evidence suggests that neuronal plasticity plays an important role in the recovery from depression. Antidepressant drugs and electroconvulsive shock treatment increase the expression of several molecules, which are associated with neuronal plasticity, in particular the neurotrophin BDNF and its receptor TrkB. Furthermore, these treatments increase(More)
We determined the gene structure of the human TrkB gene. The gene is unusually large and spans at least 590 kbp. It contains 24 exons. Using alternative promoters, splicing, and polyadenylation sites, the gene can create at least 100 isoforms, that can encode 10 proteins. RT-PCR and Northern blot analysis reveals that only three major protein isoforms are(More)
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is widely expressed in the central nervous system, where its function is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of BDNF on the differentiation of hippocampal nonpyramidal neurons using organotypic slice cultures prepared from postnatal rats. The application of BDNF induced an increase(More)