Role of a VGF/BDNF/TrkB Autoregulatory Feedback Loop in Rapid-Acting Antidepressant Efficacy

Cheng Jiang, Wei Jye Lin, Stephen R. Salton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Members of the neurotrophin family and in particular brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulate the response to rapid- and slow-acting chemical antidepressants and voluntary exercise. Recent work suggests that rapid-acting antidepressants that modulate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R) signaling (e.g., ketamine and GLYX-13) require expression of VGF (non-acronymic), the BDNF-inducible secreted neuronal protein and peptide precursor, for efficacy. In addition, the VGF-derived C-terminal peptide TLQP-62 (named by its 4 N-terminal amino acids and length) has antidepressant efficacy following icv or intra-hippocampal administration, in the forced swim test (FST). Similar to ketamine, the rapid antidepressant actions of TLQP-62 require BDNF expression, mTOR activation (rapamycin-sensitive), and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor activation (NBQX-sensitive) and are associated with GluR1 insertion. We review recent findings that identify a rapidly induced autoregulatory feedback loop, which likely plays a critical role in sustained efficacy of rapid-acting antidepressants, depression-like behavior, and cognition, and requires VGF, its C-terminal peptide TLQP-62, BDNF/TrkB signaling, the mTOR pathway, and AMPA receptor activation and insertion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-509
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2019


  • Antidepressant
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
  • Ketamine
  • Local protein synthesis
  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • VGF


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