Changes in mitochondrial function are pivotal in neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders: How important is BDNF?

We argue that brain-derived neurotrophic factor couples activity to changes in respiratory efficiency and these effects may be opposed by inflammatory cytokines, a key factor in neurodegenerative processes

A Markham; R Bains; P Franklin; M Spedding

2013

Scholarcy highlights

  • The brain is at the very limit of its energy supply and has evolved specific means of adapting function to energy supply, of which mitochondria form a crucial link
  • The overall findings of the above studies involving both exercise groups indicated that CORT’s ability to impair mitochondrial function and to reduce expression of mitofusin, SOD2 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA was independent of exercise, suggesting that unlike chronic unpredictable mild stress, CORT-induced depression cannot be prevented by exercise and, indicates different molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of depression and responses to exercise
  • Cellular homeostasis is maintained through a two-way system of communication; the form of adjustment that a cell makes to the changes in homeostatic states is known as retrograde signalling, the most extreme example of which is apoptosis
  • Opposite to this is the anterograde signalling, where communication flows from the nucleus to the organelles through transcription and expression of proteins such as trophic factors
  • As seen in the later sections of this review, where a lack of anterograde signalling by BDNF can lead to changes in the postsynaptic neurons or even apoptosis, which manifests behaviourally as depression or neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease
  • Evidence presented in this review strongly indicates that the control of BDNF activity is key to the modulation of synaptic plasticity and that the role played by mitochondria is pivotal in processes involved in neuroprotection and those responsible for the onset and development of neurodegenerative diseases
  • Evidence presented in this review strongly indicates that the control of brain-derived neurotrophic factor activity is key to the modulation of synaptic plasticity and that the role played by mitochondria is pivotal in processes involved in neuroprotection and those responsible for the onset and development of neurodegenerative diseases

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