Potential Therapeutic Use of BDNF or NT-4/5 in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases

  • C. Anthony Altar
  • Ralph F. Alderson
  • Keith D. Anders
  • Carolyn Hyman
  • Stanley J. Wiegand
  • Ronald M. Lindsay
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 44)


A growing body of evidence has revealed that the neuropathologies of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases reflect numerous system atrophies, rather than singular deficits of ldopaminergic or cholinergic neurons, respectively (see Agid et al, 1987 and Reisberg, 1983 for reviews). Both diseases can eventually result in losses of catecholaminergic, indoleaminergic, cholinergic, and peptidergic neurons but vary in the degree to which these cell groups are affected, particularly at early stages. Research efforts have focused on the identification of common mechanisms contributing to these conditions, as well as determinations of growth factor responsiveness of the affected neuronal populations. The present report summarizes in vitro and in vivo evidence that two members of the neurotrophin family of growth factors, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-4/5 (NT-4/5), support the survival or maturation of phenotypic markers in rat neuronal populations that correspond to those severely affected in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. BDNF also promotes the expression of at least several of the neuropeptides that are also decreased in Alzheimer’s disease (Nawa et al, 1993; Croll et al, 1993). The present review, however, will survey the more extensive information currently available for the in vivo and in vitro actions of BDNF or NT-4/5 on monoaminergic, cholinergic, and GABAergic neurotransmitters.


Brain Derive Neurotrophic Factor Cholinergic Neuron Dopamine Neuron GABAergic Neuron Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Anthony Altar
    • 1
  • Ralph F. Alderson
    • 1
  • Keith D. Anders
    • 1
  • Carolyn Hyman
    • 1
  • Stanley J. Wiegand
    • 1
  • Ronald M. Lindsay
    • 1
  1. 1.Regeneron PharmaceuticalsTarrytownUSA

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