Hippocampal neurons recycle BDNF for activity-dependent secretion and LTP maintenance

Spartaco Santi, Silvia Cappello, Massimo Riccio, Matteo Bergami, Giorgio Aicardi, Ursula Schenk, Michela Matteoli, Marco Canossa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) secretion plays a critical role in long-term potentiation (LTP). It is generally thought that the supply for this secretion is newly synthesized BDNF targeted to the synapse. Here we provide evidence that hippocampal neurons additionally recycle BDNF for activity-dependent secretion. Exogenously applied BDNF is internalized by cultured neurons and rapidly becomes available for activity-dependent secretion, which is controlled by the same mechanisms that regulate the secretion of newly synthesized BDNF. Moreover, BDNF recycling replaced the new synthesis pathway in mediating the maintenance of LTP in hippocampal slices: the late phase LTP, which is abolished by protein synthesis inhibition, was rescued in slices preincubated with BDNF. Thus, endocytosed BDNF is fed back to the activity-dependent releasable pool required for LTP maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4372-4380
Number of pages9
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sep 20 2006


  • Neuronal plasticity
  • Neurotrophin
  • Release
  • TIRF
  • Vesicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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