Cortical Axonal Secretion of BDNF in the Striatum Is Disrupted in the Mutant-huntingtin Knock-in Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease

Exp Neurobiol. 2018 Jun;27(3):217-225. doi: 10.5607/en.2018.27.3.217. Epub 2018 Jun 30.


Deficient BDNF signaling is known to be involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's disease (HD). Mutant huntingtin (mhtt)-mediated disruption of either BDNF transcription or transport is thought to be a factor contributing to striatal atrophy in the HD brain. Whether and how activity-dependent BDNF secretion is affected by the mhtt remains unclear. In the present study, I provide evidence for differential effects of the mhtt on cortical BDNF secretion in the striatum during HD progression. By two-photon imaging of fluorescent BDNF sensor (BDNF-pHluorin and -EGFP) in acute striatal slices of HD knock-in model mice, I found deficient cortical BDNF secretion regardless of the HD onset, but antisense oligonucleotide (ASO)-mediated reduction of htts only rescues BDNF secretion in the early HD brain before the disease onset. Although secretion modes of individual BDNF-containing vesicle were not altered in the pre-symptomatic brain, the full-fusion and partial-fusion modes of BDNF-containing vesicles were significantly altered after the onset of HD symptoms. Thus, besides abnormal BDNF transcription and transport, our results suggest that mhtt-mediated alteration in activity-dependent BDNF secretion at corticostriatal synapses also contributes to the development of HD.

Keywords: BDNF; Huntington's disease; antisense oligonucleotide; corticostriatal synapse.