Local infusion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor modifies the firing pattern of dorsal raphé serotonergic neurons

Brain Res. 1996 Mar 18;712(2):293-8. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(95)01469-1.


Previous studies have reported a neuromodulatory effect of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on serotonin neurons in the central nervous system. In the present study, we examined the effects of local infusion of BDNF on the electrophysiological activity of serotonergic neurons in the rat dorsal raphé nucleus with extracellular single unit recording in vivo. Compared with vehicle-infused rats, chronic administration of BDNF (10-14 days) caused serotonergic neurons to fire in a significantly less regular pattern, without altering the mean firing rate or other measures of electrical activity. These results suggest that the ability of similar infusions of BDNF to produce behavioral effects (i.e. analgesia and an antidepressant-like effect) associated with elevated serotonin turnover may be in part the result of more irregular firing patterns of dorsal raphé neurons.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Electrophysiology
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Mesencephalon
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Raphe Nuclei / cytology
  • Raphe Nuclei / drug effects
  • Raphe Nuclei / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Serotonin / physiology*


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Serotonin