Cell-based fluorescent indicator to visualize brain-derived neurotrophic factor secreted from living neurons

ACS Chem Biol. 2008 Jun 20;3(6):352-8. doi: 10.1021/cb800052v.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a polypeptide that is secreted from neurons. Although there is mounting evidence that BDNF regulates neuronal development and synaptic plasticity, BDNF secretion has remained unclear due to lack of appropriate methods for the analysis of its dynamics. To visualize BDNF secretion from neurons, here we have developed a cell-based fluorescent indicator for BDNF. We showed that the present cell-based fluorescent indicator, named "Bescell", has high selectivity to BDNF and detects picomolar concentrations of BDNF (detection limit of 60 pM). Bescell has visualized endogenous BDNF secreted from hippocampal neurons. It thus provides a powerful tool for the analysis of BDNF secretion from living neurons.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor* / analysis
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor* / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Female
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer / methods*
  • Hippocampus* / metabolism
  • Hippocampus* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Luminescent Agents / chemistry*
  • Neurons* / cytology
  • Neurons* / metabolism
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Luminescent Agents