3 years ago

BDNF – A key player in cardiovascular system

Neurotrophins (NTs) were first identified as target-derived survival factors for neurons of the central and peripheral nervous system (PNS). They are known to control neural cell fate, development and function. Independently of their neuronal properties, NTs exert unique cardiovascular activity. The heart is innervated by sensory, sympathetic and parasympathetic neurons, which require NTs during early development and in the establishment of mature properties, contributing to the maintenance of cardiovascular homeostasis. The identification of molecular mechanisms regulated by NTs and involved in the crosstalk between cardiac sympathetic nerves, cardiomyocytes, cardiac fibroblasts, and vascular cells, has a fundamental importance in both normal heart function and disease. The article aims to review the recent data on the effects of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) on various cardiovascular neuronal and non-neuronal functions such as the modulation of synaptic properties of autonomic neurons, axonal outgrowth and sprouting, formation of the vascular and neural networks, smooth muscle migration, and control of endothelial cell survival and cardiomyocytes. Understanding these mechanisms may be crucial for developing novel therapeutic strategies, including stem cell-based therapies.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S002228281730161X

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