Neuroprotective roles of neurotrophic growth factors in mood disorders

Cheng Jiang, Stephen R. Salton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Neurotrophic growth factors (neurotrophins), other growth factors, and their receptors and downstream signaling pathways have long been appreciated to play critical roles in the modulation of depressive behavior and the regulation of antidepressant efficacy. Mechanisms by which neurotrophin actions impact depression-like behavior and antidepressant responses in animal models include regulation in the CNS of neuroprotection, neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity and stability, and neuronal cytoarchitecture, including dendritic length and spine density, with correlative genetic association and big data studies in humans. Here, we review the role that neurotrophins in general and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in particular play in the modulation of mood disorders and antidepressant efficacy. We discuss the neurotrophin protein family and their receptors; review evidence that associates neurotrophin gene polymorphisms, transcript levels, and circulating protein levels with susceptibility or resilience to mood disorders; and finally focus on the specific mechanisms by which neurotrophins regulate depressive behavior and antidepressant actions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuroprotection in Autism, Schizophrenia and Alzheimer's Disease
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780128140376
ISBN (Print)9780128140383
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Antidepressant
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
  • Ketamine
  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)
  • Nerve growth factor (NGF)
  • Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3)
  • Neurotrophin-4 (NT-4)
  • Tropomyosin receptor kinase (Trk)
  • p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR)


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