We report that stimulation inducing long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 pyramidal cell layer of the hippocampus evokes significant increases in both BDNF and NT-3 mRNAs in CA1 neurons. No changes in BDNF or NT-3 mRNA levels were seen in the nonstimulated regions of the pyramidal cell layer or the dentate. No change was seen in the levels of NGF mRNA at the time point examined. These results suggest that relatively normal levels of activity may regulate region-specific neurotrophin levels in the hippocampus. Given that known effects of NGF (and presumably of BDNF and NT-3) include elevation of neurotransmitter levels, elevation of sodium channels, and promotion of axonal terminal sprouting, activity-associated changes in neurotrophin levels may play a role in regulating neural connections in the adult as well as the developing nervous system.
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