Autocrine BDNF-TrkB signalling within a single dendritic spine.

Published

Journal Article

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor TrkB are crucial for many forms of neuronal plasticity, including structural long-term potentiation (sLTP), which is a correlate of an animal's learning. However, it is unknown whether BDNF release and TrkB activation occur during sLTP, and if so, when and where. Here, using a fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based sensor for TrkB and two-photon fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy, we monitor TrkB activity in single dendritic spines of CA1 pyramidal neurons in cultured murine hippocampal slices. In response to sLTP induction, we find fast (onset < 1 min) and sustained (>20 min) activation of TrkB in the stimulated spine that depends on NMDAR (N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor) and CaMKII signalling and on postsynaptically synthesized BDNF. We confirm the presence of postsynaptic BDNF using electron microscopy to localize endogenous BDNF to dendrites and spines of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. Consistent with these findings, we also show rapid, glutamate-uncaging-evoked, time-locked BDNF release from single dendritic spines using BDNF fused to superecliptic pHluorin. We demonstrate that this postsynaptic BDNF-TrkB signalling pathway is necessary for both structural and functional LTP. Together, these findings reveal a spine-autonomous, autocrine signalling mechanism involving NMDAR-CaMKII-dependent BDNF release from stimulated dendritic spines and subsequent TrkB activation on these same spines that is crucial for structural and functional plasticity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Harward, SC; Hedrick, NG; Hall, CE; Parra-Bueno, P; Milner, TA; Pan, E; Laviv, T; Hempstead, BL; Yasuda, R; McNamara, JO

Published Date

  • October 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 538 / 7623

Start / End Page

  • 99 - 103

PubMed ID

  • 27680698

Pubmed Central ID

  • 27680698

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-4687

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0028-0836

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/nature19766

Language

  • eng