The interplay between BDNF signaling and the serotonergic system remains incompletely understood. Using a highly sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we studied BDNF concentrations in hippocampus and cortex of two mouse models of altered serotonin signaling: tryptophan hydroxylase (Tph)2-deficient (Tph2 (-/-)) mice lacking brain serotonin and serotonin transporter (SERT)-deficient (SERT(-/-)) mice lacking serotonin re-uptake. Surprisingly, hippocampal BDNF was significantly elevated in Tph2 (-/-) mice, whereas no significant changes were observed in SERT(-/-) mice. Furthermore, BDNF levels were increased in the prefrontal cortex of Tph2 (-/-) but not of SERT(-/-) mice. Our results emphasize the interaction between serotonin signaling and BDNF. Complete lack of brain serotonin induces BDNF expression.
Keywords: Antidepressant; BDNF; Depression; SERT; Serotonin; TPH2.