High salt loading increases brain derived neurotrophic factor in supraoptic vasopressin neurones

Kirthikaa Balapattabi, Joel T. Little, George E. Farmer, J. Thomas Cunningham

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11 Scopus citations


High salt loading (SL) is associated with inappropriate arginine vasopressin (AVP) release and increased mean arterial pressure. Previous work has shown that chronic high salt intake impairs baroreceptor inhibition of rat AVP neurones through brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) dependent activation of tyrosine receptor kinase B (TrkB) and down-regulation of K+/Cl− co-transporter KCC2. This mechanism diminishes the GABAA inhibition of AVP neurones in the supraoptic nucleus (SON) by increasing intracellular chloride. However, the source of BDNF leading to this ionic plasticity is unknown. In the present study, we used adeno-associated viral vectors with short hairpin RNA against BDNF to test whether SON is the source of BDNF contributing to increased AVP release and elevated mean arterial pressure in high salt loaded rats. Virally mediated BDNF knockdown (shBDNF) in the SON of salt loaded rats significantly blocked the increases in BDNF mRNA and AVP heterogeneous RNA expression. The observed increase in the activation of TrkB receptor during salt loading is consistent with previous studies. Western blot analysis of SON punches revealed that tyrosine phosphorylation of TrkB (pTrkBY515) was significantly decreased in salt shBDNF rats compared to the salt scrambled (SCR) rats. Injections of shBDNF in the SON also significantly prevented the increase in plasma AVP concentration associated with salt loading. However, the salt loading induced increase in mean arterial pressure was not decreased with BDNF knockdown in the SON. Average daily fluid intake and urine output were significantly elevated in both salt SCR and salt shBDNF rats compared to the euhydrated controls. Daily average urine sodium concentration was significantly higher in shBDNF injected salt rats than the other groups. These findings indicate that BDNF produced in the SON contributes to the increased AVP secretion during high salt loading but not with respect to the subsequent increase in mean arterial pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12639
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • BDNF
  • SON
  • salt loading and MNCs
  • vasopressin


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