Neonatal maternal separation increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor and tyrosine kinase receptor B expression in the descending pain modulatory system

Elaine K.Y. Chung, Zhaoxiang BIAN*, Hong Xi Xu, Joseph Jao Yiu Sung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neonatal maternal separation (NMS) could trigger long-term changes in the central neuronal responses to nociceptive stimuli in rats. Stress-induced visceral hyperalgesia is closely associated with the dysfunction of descending pain modulatory systems. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) not only has an important role in long-term synaptic plasticity but also in facilitating descending pain. The present study aimed to investigate changes in the expression of BDNF and its receptor tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) in the amygdala and the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) after NMS and colorectal distention (CRD) stimulation in rats. Male Wistar rat pups were subjected to 180 min of daily NMS or not handled for 13 consecutive days. Expression of BDNF and TrkB following NMS and CRD stimulation was determined using immunohistochemistry. The results revealed an increase in the expression of BDNF and TrkB in the amygdala after NMS. An interactive effect of NMS and CRD on the expression of TrkB, but not BDNF, was found in the RVM. Furthermore, a significant interactive effect of NMS and CRD on the colocalization coefficient of TrkB and phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase expression in both the amygdala and RVM were found. These data demonstrate that NMS increases BDNF and TrkB expression in the descending pain systems, which may contribute to the development of NMS-induced visceral hyperalgesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-221
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroSignals
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

User-Defined Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Colorectal distention
  • Neonatal maternal separation
  • Rostral ventromedial medulla
  • Tyrosine kinase receptor B

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