Influence of endogenous and exogenous sex hormones on plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor
Authors: Begliuomini, S.; Casarosa, E.; Pluchino, N.; Lenzi, E.; Centofanti, M.; Freschi, L.; Pieri, M.; Genazzani, A.D.; Luisi, S.; Genazzani, Andrea R.
Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 22, Number 4, 18 April 2007 , pp. 995-1002(8)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:BACKGROUNDBrain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a mediator of neuronal plasticity and influences learning, memory and cognitive behaviour. The aim of this study is to assess plasma BDNF variations according to hormonal status.METHODSA total of 60 subjects were included: 20 fertile ovulatory women, 15 amenorrhoeic women and 25 postmenopausal women. Blood samples were collected after overnight fasting. For 5 out of the 20 fertile women, samples were collected every 2 days throughout the whole menstrual cycle. Following basal evaluation, 10 out of 25 postmenopausal women were administered a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and reevaluated after 6 months of treatment. Plasma BDNF concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In fertile women, estradiol (E2), progesterone and gonadotrophins were also assessed.RESULTSIn fertile women, luteal phase levels of plasma BDNF were significantly higher than follicular phase levels (P < 0.001). BDNF increased from early follicular phase up to Day 14 of the cycle, reaching a pre-ovulatory peak, similar to E2. A second rise took place during mid-luteal phase, with a peak on Day 24. Amenorrhoeic subjects, as well as postmenopausal women, showed significantly lower plasma BDNF levels compared with fertile females (P < 0.001). BDNF was positively correlated with E2 and progesterone and negatively correlated with menopausal age. HRT restored BDNF levels to those present in fertile women during the follicular phase.CONCLUSIONSPlasma BDNF levels are influenced by hormonal status. Modifications in BDNF circulating levels during the menstrual cycle suggest a potential role for gonadal sex hormones (E2 and progesterone) in regulating neurotrophin expression.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2007-04-18
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