Diurnal variation of brain derived neurotrophic factor and its importance

Muhammad Rafiq, Sajed Ali


Background: Previous studies have shown the importance of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in different cognitive processes including learning and memory. Some previous studies have showed variations of BDNF protein during the day. But still there is no data that shows any circadian variation of BDNF in the brain of rodents. So, this study was aimed to determine any circadian variation of BDNF protein in brain structures involved in cognitive processes.

Methods: Male Arvicanthis ansorgei diurnal rats were sacrificed at different zeitgeber times (ZT21, ZT17, ZT13, ZT9, ZT5 and ZT1). ZT12 and ZT0 defining lights off and on respectively. The brains were removed and brain homogenates were prepared from hippocampus and cortex tissues. The amount of BDNF protein was assessed using ELISA technique on the brain supernatants.

Results: Both the structures i.e. cortex and hippocampus showed a circadian variation of BDNF protein. In cortex, two peaks were observed i.e. at ZT5 and ZT17. Post-hoc analysis showed a significant effect between ZT5 and ZT13 (P<0.05). Hippocampus, also showed two peaks i.e. at ZT9 and ZT21. Post-hoc analysis showed a significant effect between ZT1 and ZT21 (P<0.05).

Conclusion: Our novel results showed that both brain structures of diurnal rodents follow a circadian rhythms of BDNF protein. This study provides a focus for designing experiments and techniques that are based logically how circadian rhythms of different proteins contribute in pathology and how we can treat.

Keywords: Zeitgeber time; Cortex; Hippocampus; ELISA; Arvicanthis ansorgei; Circadian rhythms; BDNF

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