Activation of p75NTR by proBDNF facilitates hippocampal long-term depression
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
Long-Term Synaptic Depression
Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor
Pro- and mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activate two distinct receptors: p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) and TrkB. Mature BDNF facilitates hippocampal synaptic potentiation through TrkB. Here we report that proBDNF, by activating p75(NTR), facilitates hippocampal long-term depression (LTD). Electron microscopy showed that p75(NTR) localized in dendritic spines, in addition to afferent terminals, of CA1 neurons. Deletion of p75(NTR) in mice selectively impaired the NMDA receptor-dependent LTD, without affecting other forms of synaptic plasticity. p75(NTR-/-) mice also showed a decrease in the expression of NR2B, an NMDA receptor subunit uniquely involved in LTD. Activation of p75(NTR) by proBDNF enhanced NR2B-dependent LTD and NR2B-mediated synaptic currents. These results show a crucial role for proBDNF-p75(NTR) signaling in LTD and its potential mechanism, and together with the finding that mature BDNF promotes synaptic potentiation, suggest a bidirectional regulation of synaptic plasticity by proBDNF and mature BDNF.