Treatment with mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (mBDNF) promotes functional recovery after ischemia in animal trials but the possible role of its precursor protein proBDNF and its receptors or the factors responsible for the conversion of proBDNF to mBDNF in ischemic stroke are not known. The main aim of this study was to characterize the time-dependent expression of genes and/or proteins related to BDNF processing and signaling after ischemia as well as the sensorimotor behavioral dysfunction in a photothrombotic ischemic model in rats. Characterization of different genes and proteins related to BDNF processing and signaling was performed using qPCR, immunoblotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. We showed in this study that some sensory and motor functional deficiencies appeared in the ischemic group at day 1 and persisted until day 14. Most changes in gene expression of BDNF and its processing enzymes occurred within the first 24 h in the ipsilateral cortex, but not in the contralateral cortex. At the protein level, proBDNF expression was increased at 6 h, mBDNF expression was increased between 15 h and 1 day while p75 receptor protein expression was increased between 6 h and 3 days in the ipsilateral cortex, but not in the contralateral cortex. Therefore, cerebral ischemia in rats led to the up-regulation of genes and/or proteins of BDNF, proBDNF and their processing enzymes and receptors in a time-dependent manner. We propose that the balance between BDNF and proBDNF and their associated proteins may play an important role in the pathogenesis and recovery from ischemia.
- Mature BDNF
- Photothrombotic ischemia