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  Association between hippocampal structure and serum Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in healthy adults: A registered report

Puhlmann, L. M., Linz, R., Valk, S. L., Vrticka, P., Vos de Wael, R., Bernasconi, A., et al. (2021). Association between hippocampal structure and serum Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in healthy adults: A registered report. NeuroImage, 236: 118011. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118011.

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Puhlmann, Lara M.1, 2, Author           
Linz, Roman1, Author           
Valk, Sofie L.3, 4, 5, Author           
Vrticka, Pascal1, 6, Author           
Vos de Wael, R.7, Author
Bernasconi, A.7, Author
Bernasconi, N.7, Author
Caldairou, B.7, Author
Papassotiriou, I.8, Author
Chrousos, G. P.9, Author
Bernhardt, Boris C.7, Author           
Singer, Tania10, Author           
Engert, Veronika1, 11, Author           
1Research Group Social Stress and Family Health, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_3025667              
2Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR), Mainz, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Institute of Systems Neuroscience, University Hospital Düsseldorf, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Research Center Jülich, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Otto Hahn Group Cognitive Neurogenetics, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_3222264              
6Department of Psychology, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
7McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canac´da, ou_persistent22              
8Department of Clinical Biochemistry, "Aghia Sofia" General Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece, ou_persistent22              
9First Department of Pediatrics, School of Health Sciences, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, ou_persistent22              
10Social Neuroscience Lab, Max Planck Society, ou_3059938              
11Institute of Psychosocial Medicine and Psychotherapy, Jena University Hospital, Germany, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: Hippocampal volume; Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF); Stress-reactive BDNF; Dentate gyrus; Hippocampal subfields; Neurotrophins
 Abstract: The hippocampus is a highly plastic brain structure supporting functions central to human cognition. Morphological changes in the hippocampus have been implicated in development, aging, as well as in a broad range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. A growing body of research suggests that hippocampal plasticity is closely linked to the actions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). However, evidence on the relationship between hippocampal volume (HCV) and peripheral BDNF levels is scarce and limited to elderly and patient populations. Further, despite evidence that BDNF expression differs throughout the hippocampus and is implicated in adult neurogenesis specifically in the dentate gyrus, no study has so far related peripheral BDNF levels to the volumes of individual hippocampal subfields. Besides its clinical implications, BDNF-facilitated hippocampal plasticity plays an important role in regulating cognitive and affective processes. In the current registered report, we investigated how serum BDNF (sBDNF) levels relate to volumes of the hippocampal formation and its subfields in a large sample of healthy adults (N = 279, 160 f) with a broad age range (20–55 years, mean 40.5) recruited in the context of the ReSource Project. We related HCV to basal sBDNF and, in a subsample (n = 103, 57 f), to acute stress-reactive change in sBDNF. We further tested the role of age as a moderator of both associations. Contrary to our hypotheses, neither basal sBDNF levels nor stress-reactive sBDNF change were associated with total HCV or volume of the dentate gyrus/cornu ammonis 4 (DG/CA4) subfield. We also found no evidence for a moderating effect of age on any of these associations. Our null results provide a first point of reference on the relationship between sBDNF and HCV in healthy mid-age, in contrast to patient or aging populations. We suggest that sBDNF levels have limited predictive value for morphological differences of the hippocampal structure when notable challenge to its neuronal integrity or to neurotrophic capacity is absent.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-01-292021-03-202021-04-202021-08-01
 Publication Status: Issued
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118011
Other: epub 2021
PMID: 33852941
 Degree: -



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Project name : -
Grant ID : 205557
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Funding organization : European Research Council (ERC)
Project name : -
Grant ID : FDN-154298
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Funding organization : Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Project name : -
Grant ID : NI17-039
Funding program : -
Funding organization : SickKids Foundation
Project name : -
Grant ID : Discovery-1304413
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Max Planck Society
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Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Azrieli Center for Autism Research of the Montreal Neurological Institute (ACAR)

Source 1

Title: NeuroImage
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Orlando, FL : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 236 Sequence Number: 118011 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1053-8119
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922650166