Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin 3 in schizophrenic psychoses

Schizophr Res. 2001 Oct 1;52(1-2):79-86. doi: 10.1016/s0920-9964(00)00084-0.


Disturbed neural development has been postulated as a crucial factor in the pathophysiology of schizophrenic psychoses. The neurobiochemical basis for such changes of cytoarchitecture and changed neural plasticity could involve an alteration in the regulation of neurotrophic factors. In order to test this hypothesis, BDNF and NT-3 levels in post-mortem brain tissue from schizophrenic patients were determined by ELISA. There was a significant increase in BDNF concentrations in cortical areas and a significant decrease of this neurotrophin in hippocampus of patients when compared with controls. NT-3 concentrations of frontal and parietal cortical areas were significantly lower in patients than in controls. These findings lend further evidence to the neurotrophin hypothesis of schizophrenic psychoses which proposes that alterations in expression of neurotrophic factors could be responsible for neural maldevelopment and disturbed neural plasticity, thus being an important event in the etiopathogenesis of schizophrenic psychoses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / analysis*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Neurotrophin 3 / analysis*
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Neurotrophin 3