Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)

During development, promotes the survival and differentiation of selected neuronal populations of both peripheral and central nervous systems. Participates in axonal growth, pathfinding and in the modulation of dendritic growth and morphology.

Major regulator of synaptic transmission and plasticity at adult synapses in several regions of the CNS. The flexibility of BDNF is emphasized by its contribution to a range of adaptive neuronal reactions including long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD), certain kinds of short-term synaptic plasticity, as well as homeostatic regulation of intrinsic neuronal excitability.