Differential expression of GDNF, BDNF, and NT-3 in the aging nigrostriatal system following a neurotoxic lesion

David M. Yurek, Anita Fletcher-Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Protein levels for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) were measured in the striatum and ventral midbrain of young and aged Brown Norway/F344 F1 (F344BNF1) hybrid rats following a unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion of the nigrostriatal pathway. At 2 weeks post-lesion, protein levels of BDNF and GDNF were higher in the denervated striatum when compared to the intact striatum for young (4-5 months old) but not old (31-33 months old) rats. Interestingly, in old rats BDNF protein in the denervated striatum was significantly lower than that measured in the intact striatum. At the same time point BDNF protein levels in the ventral midbrain were higher on the lesioned versus intact side for both young and old rats while no significant side differences were detected for GDNF protein in the ventral midbrain of young or old rats. No significant differences in NT-3 protein levels were detected between the lesioned and intact sides for striatal or ventral midbrain regions in either young or old brain. While no significant age effects were detected for BDNF or NT-3 protein, young rats showed higher GDNF protein levels in both the striatum (lesioned or intact) and ventral midbrain (lesioned or intact) than old rats. These data show that two endogenous neurotrophic factors, BDNF and GDNF, are differentially affected by a 6-OHDA lesion in the aging nigrostriatal system with young brain showing a significant compensatory increase of these two factors in the denervated striatum while no compensatory increase is observed in aged brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 9 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was support by NS35890 and the NIA Pilot Program.


  • 6-Hydroxydopamine
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Brown/Norway F334 F, hybrid rats
  • Dopamine
  • Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Neurotrophic factor
  • Neurotrophin-3
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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