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The issue of neurotrophins is recognized as a new lead in the quest for a deeper understanding of mood disorders. This hypothesis has emerged from experimental evidence suggesting that antidepressant drugs might work by a neuroprotective effect through the stimulation of the neurotrophin expression in distinct regions of the CNS. Endogenous levels of BDNF(More)
The "neurotrophin hypothesis" of depression predicts that depressive disorders in humans coincide with a decreased activity and/or expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain. Therefore, we investigated whether mice with a reduced BDNF expression due to heterozygous gene disruption demonstrate depression-like neurochemical changes or(More)
Nerve growth factor (NGF) regulates sensory neuron phenotype by elevated expression of ion channels and receptors contributing to pain. Peripheral opioid antinociception is dependent on sensory neuron mu opioid receptor (MOR) expression, coupling and efficacy. This study investigates the role of NGF in the upregulation of the number and efficacy of sensory(More)
Altered glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling is a postulated mechanism for the pathogenesis of major depression. To mimic the human situation of altered GR function claimed for depression, we generated mouse strains that underexpress or overexpress GR, but maintain the regulatory genetic context controlling the GR gene. To achieve this goal, we used the(More)
INTRODUCTION The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) are a central part of the molecular concepts on neuroplastic changes associated with stress, anxiety and depression. An increasing number of studies uses serum BDNF levels as a potential indicator for central nervous system alterations. METHODS To analyze(More)
Several studies investigated the effect of physical exercise on emotional behaviors in rodents; resulting findings however remain controversial. Despite the accepted notion that voluntary exercise alters behavior in the same manners as antidepressant drugs, several studies reported opposite or no effects at all. In an attempt to evaluate the effect of(More)
BACKGROUND Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling at synapses improves synaptic strengthening associated with learning and memory. In the present study we hypothesized that serum BDNF concentration is associated with in vivo level of cerebral N-acetylaspartate (NAA), a well established marker of neuronal integrity. METHODS In 36 healthy(More)
BACKGROUND Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex are brain stimulation techniques used as therapeutic interventions in major depression. METHODS In this study, we report the impact of these stimulation techniques on serum concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic(More)
In recent years it has become clear that multiple sclerosis (MS) patients benefit from physical exercise as performed in aerobic training but little is known about the effect on functional domains and physiological factors mediating these effects. We studied immunological, endocrine and neurotrophic factors as well as coordinative function and quality of(More)
Cognitive deficits are a common feature of major depression (MD), with largely unknown biological underpinnings. In addition to the affective and cognitive symptoms of MD, a dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is commonly observed in these patients. Increased plasma glucocorticoid levels are known to render the hippocampus(More)