An Increase in Basal BDNF Provokes Hyperactivation of the Akt-Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Pathway and Deregulation of Local Dendritic Translation in a Mouse Model of Down's Syndrome
Journal of Neuroscience
As in other diseases associated with mental retardation, dendrite morphology and synaptic plasticity are impaired in Down's syndrome (DS). Both these features of neurons are critically influenced by BDNF, which regulates local dendritic translation through phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and Ras-ERK signaling cascades. Here we show that the levels of BDNF and phosphorylated Akt-mTOR (but not Ras-ERK) pathway proteins are augmented in hippocampal dendrites
... pocampal dendrites of Ts1Cje mice, a DS model. Consequently, the rate of local dendritic translation is abnormally high and the modulatory effect of exogenous BDNF is lost. Interestingly, rapamycin (a Food and Drug Administration-approved drug) restores normal levels of phosphorylated Akt-mTOR proteins and normal rates of local translation in Ts1Cje neurons, opening new therapeutic perspectives for DS. The NMDAR inhibitors APV, MK-801, and memantine also restore the normal levels of phospho-mTOR in dendrites of Ts1Cje hippocampal neurons. We propose a model to explain how BDNF-mediated regulation of local translation is lost in the Ts1Cje hippocampus through the establishment of a glutamatergic positive-feedback loop. Together, these findings help elucidate the mechanisms underlying altered synaptic plasticity in DS.