Changes in BDNF gene expression correlate with rat strain differences in neuropathic pain

Neurosci Lett. 2007 Jun 15;420(3):273-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2007.05.014. Epub 2007 May 10.


The Fischer 344 (F344) rat inbred strain differs from the inbred Lewis and the outbred Sprague-Dawley (SD) in the response to different pain stimuli, which has been partially attributed to differences in the endogenous opioid and noradrenergic systems. Since brain-derived neutrophic factor (BDNF) modulates both the endogenous opioid and noradrenergic systems, we have now studied specific changes in BDNF gene expression related to the maintenance of neuropathic pain in the three rat strains. F344 rats were found to be the only strain that completely recovered from neuropathic pain (mechanical allodynia) 28 days after chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve. Real time RT-PCR studies revealed minimal changes in the expression of BDNF in the spinal cord after CCI despite the strain considered, but marked changes in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were observed. A significant upregulation of BDNF gene expression was found only in injured DRG of F344 rats, thus correlating with higher resistance to neuropathic pain. The data suggest that BDNF could be involved in strain differences concerning CCI resistance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / biosynthesis
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / genetics*
  • Ganglia, Spinal / metabolism
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / genetics*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / complications
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / genetics*
  • Physical Stimulation
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Species Specificity
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • RNA, Messenger