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The BDNF receptor, TrkB, is critical to limbic epileptogenesis, but the responsible downstream signaling pathways are unknown. We hypothesized that TrkB-dependent activation of phospholipase Cgamma1 (PLCgamma1) signaling is the key pathway and tested this in trkB(PLC/PLC) mice carrying a mutation (Y816F) that uncouples TrkB from PLCgamma1. Biochemical measures revealed activation of both TrkB and PLCgamma1 in hippocampi in the pilocarpine and kindling models in wild-type mice. PLCgamma1 activation was decreased in hippocampi isolated from trkB(PLC/PLC) compared with control mice. Epileptogenesis assessed by development of kindling was inhibited in trkB(PLC/PLC) compared with control mice. Long-term potentiation of the mossy fiber-CA3 pyramid synapse was impaired in slices of trkB(PLC/PLC) mice. We conclude that TrkB-dependent activation of PLCgamma1 signaling is an important molecular mechanism of limbic epileptogenesis. Elucidating signaling pathways activated by a cell membrane receptor in animal models of CNS disorders promises to reveal novel targets for specific and effective therapeutic intervention.

Original publication




Journal article


J Neurosci

Publication Date





6188 - 6196


Animals, Disease Models, Animal, Epilepsy, Hippocampus, Kindling, Neurologic, Long-Term Potentiation, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, Mutation, Phospholipase C gamma, Pilocarpine, Receptor, trkB, Signal Transduction, Synapses