Smita Thakker-Varia

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Synaptic strengthening induced by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is associated with learning and is coupled to transcriptional activation. However, identification of the spectrum of genes associated with BDNF-induced synaptic plasticity and the correlation of expression with learning paradigms in vivo has not yet been studied. Transcriptional(More)
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is upregulated in the hippocampus by antidepressant treatments, and BDNF produces antidepressant-like effects in behavioral models of depression. In our previous work, we identified genes induced by BDNF and defined their specific roles in hippocampal neuronal development and plasticity. To identify genes downstream(More)
Trophin-induced synaptic plasticity consists of both presynaptic and postsynaptic processes. The potential interdependence of these mechanisms and their temporal relationships are undefined. The synaptic vesicle protein Rab3A is required for the early, initial 10 min phase but not for the later phase of BDNF-enhanced transmission. We now examine the(More)
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates synaptic strength in hippocampal neurons, in addition to promoting survival and differentiation. To identify genes involved in trophic regulation of synaptic plasticity, we have used a multidisciplinary approach of differential display and family-specific slot blots in combination with whole-cell(More)
The monoamine hypothesis of depression is increasingly called into question by newer theories that revolve around changes in neuronal plasticity, primarily in the hippocampus, at both the structural and the functional levels. Chronic stress negatively regulates hippocampal function while antidepressants ameliorate the effects of stress on neuronal(More)
Pulmonary vascular remodeling, produced by cell hypertrophy and extracellular matrix protein synthesis in response to hemodynamic stress, regresses after reduction of blood pressure, possibly by proteolysis of structural proteins. To test this postulate, we assessed the breakdown of extracellular matrix proteins and expression of collagenase and elastase in(More)
Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is a potent tumor angiogenesis factor which lacks an amino-terminal signal sequence and does not normally circulate in serum from normal subjects. Naturally-occurring autoantibodies which mimicked basic fibroblast growth factor were described in serum from patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 prolactinoma(More)
The potential for nonembryonic cells to promote differentiation of neuronal cells has therapeutic implications for regeneration of neurons damaged by stroke or injury and avoids many ethical and safety concerns. The authors have assessed the capacity of human umbilical tissue-derived cells (hUTC) and human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSC) to enhance(More)
Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) exhibits a sequence of actions on neurons ranging from acute enhancement of transmission to long-term promotion of neurite outgrowth and synaptogenesis associated with learning and memory. The manifold effects of BDNF on neuronal modifications may be mediated by genomic alterations. We previously found that BDNF(More)
Previous work from our laboratory has shown that rabbit articular chondrocytes, like macrophages, produce reactive oxygen intermediates, express Ia antigen, and can mediate immunologic functions such as antigen presentation and induction of mixed and autologous lymphocyte reactions. We were interested in seeing if these cells could secrete interleukin-1(More)