Neurotrophin expression in early stages of development is crucial for brain assembly and function. In particular, postnatal expression of neurotrophins has not been well documented in the neostriatum and in general neurotrophins or their receptor mRNA's are normally reported, but not protein expression. In the present study, immunocytochemical expression of BDNF, NT-3 and NT-4/5 was characterized in striatal tissue of C57BL/6 mice at postnatal days 10(th )(P10), 21(st) (P21), 42(nd) (P42) and 80(th) (P80). We found that the expression of BDNF diminished along the postnatal time course we evaluated, while staining for NT-4 increased up to age P42 and remained constant, thereafter in the cell's soma. In contrast, NT-3 was first expressed in the neostriatal bundles and later on, in neostriatal cell somas. These results provide information about differences in the spatial and temporal expression of each neurotrophin in the neostriatum during the first 80(th) postnatal days. RT-PCR procedures were also carried out to further determine whether protein levels of neurotrophins observed in the neostriatum were under control of gene expression. All neurotrophin mRNAs were expressed and only mRNA(BDNF) was reduced during the postnatal evaluated days. Differences in temporal expression of neurotrophins may be related to the heterochronic development of neostriatal cell populations, but also with the specificity of each neurotrophin modulating different neuronal targets.
Keywords: BDNF; NT-3; NT4/5; neurotrophins; postnatal; striatum.