Autophagy is crucial for neuronal integrity. Loss of key autophagic components leads to progressive neurodegeneration and structural defects in pre- and postsynaptic morphologies. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating autophagy in the brain remain elusive. Similarly, while it is widely accepted that protein turnover is required for synaptic plasticity, the contribution of autophagy to the degradation of synaptic proteins is unknown. Here, we report that BDNF signaling via the tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) and the phosphatidylinositol-3' kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway suppresses autophagy in vivo. In addition, we demonstrate that suppression of autophagy is required for BDNF-induced synaptic plasticity and for memory enhancement under conditions of nutritional stress. Finally, we identify three key remodelers of postsynaptic densities as cargo of autophagy. Our results establish autophagy as a pivotal component of BDNF signaling, which is essential for BDNF-induced synaptic plasticity. This molecular mechanism underlies behavioral adaptations that increase fitness in times of scarcity.
Statistical software package for data analysis, hypothesis testing, and modeling. The software can capable perform mathematical calculations (including biostatistics) and graphical plotting such as curve fitting (nonlinear regression) and scientific graphing.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to SciCrunch, however this is not currently a free service.