BDNF and epilepsy: too much of a good thing?

Trends Neurosci. 2001 Jan;24(1):47-53. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(00)01682-9.


Various studies have shown that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) increases neuronal excitability and is localized and upregulated in areas implicated in epileptogenesis. Seizure activity increases the expression of BDNF mRNA and protein, and recent studies have shown that interfering with BDNF signal transduction inhibits the development of the epileptic state in vivo. These results suggest that BDNF contributes to epileptogenesis. Further analysis of the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which BDNF influences excitability and connectivity in adult brain could provide novel concepts and targets for anticonvulsant or anti-epileptogenic therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism*
  • Epilepsy / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kindling, Neurologic / metabolism
  • Pyramidal Cells / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Receptor, trkB / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Up-Regulation / physiology


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptor, trkB