Brain-derived growth factor and nerve growth factor concentrations are decreased in the substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease

Neurosci Lett. 1999 Jul 23;270(1):45-8. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(99)00463-2.


Using highly sensitive sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), we measured for the first time the concentrations of brain-derived growth factor (BDNF) in the brain (substantia nigra, caudate nucleus, putamen, cerebellum, and frontal cortex) from control and parkinsonian patients. BDNF in the human brain (the order of ng/mg protein) was significantly lower specifically in the nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) regions from parkinsonian patients than in those from control patients. The concentration of nerve growth factor (NGF) was also significantly decreased in the substantia nigra of parkinsonian patients in comparison with that in the controls. Since BDNF and NGF may play important roles in survival and differentiation of neuronal cells, the present data indicate that the lack of neurotrophins, especially BDNF, may be involved in the pathogenesis of PD during progress of neurodegeneration of the nigrostriatal DA neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / analysis
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism*
  • Caudate Nucleus / chemistry
  • Caudate Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cerebellum / chemistry
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / chemistry
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Growth Factors / analysis
  • Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*
  • Putamen / chemistry
  • Putamen / metabolism
  • Reference Values
  • Substantia Nigra / chemistry
  • Substantia Nigra / metabolism*


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Nerve Growth Factors