Key words Nerve growth factor
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The acute and subacute effects of intracerebroventricularly (ICV) administered nerve growth factor (NGF) or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on locomotor activity were evaluated in awake adult rats. Immediately after ICV injection through an implanted cannula, locomotor activity was measured by a computerized system using infrared photocells, which allowed us to record locomotion, motility, and rearing simultaneously. A single dose of 5 μg mouse β-NGF produced significant increases in horizontal ambulatory components of locomotor activity (locomotion and motility), but not vertical movement (rearing) 30–45 min after ICV administration. These increases lasted for at least 3–4 h. Systemic injection of 2.0 mg/kg mecamylamine, a central nicotinic receptor antagonist, inhibited the hyperactivity induced by NGF. Systemic injection of 0.5 mg/kg scopolamine, a muscarinic receptor antagonist, did not interfere with the NGF effects. Thus, while scopolamine induced marked increases in all three measures of behavior in both NGF and cytochrome-c-treated animals, locomotion and motility remained significantly higher in the NGF group. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that NGF diffused readily from the ventricular space into brain parenchyma on the injected side and could be visualized 1 h after ICV injection. These results suggest that ICV administration of NGF increases locomotor activity by inducing acetylcholine release, and that nicotinic receptors are involved in the hyperactivity induced by NGF. ICV administration of 5 μg recombinant human BDNF had no significant effect on locomotor activity during the 0- to 4-h period after ICV injection. However, it produced significant decreases in locomotion, motility, and rearing 24–26 h later. Hence ICV administration of BDNF has entirely different effects on animal behavior from those evoked by NGF. While NGF elicits increases in ambulatory behavior within hours, BDNF causes delayed decreases in ambulatory behavior.
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