Suicide: Neurochemical Approaches

Ritabrata Banerjee, Anup K. Ghosh, Balaram Ghosh, Somnath Bhattacharya, Amal C. Mondal


Despite the devastating effect of suicide on numerous lives, there is still a dearth
of knowledge concerning its neurochemical aspects. There is increasing evidence that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Nerve growth factor (NGF) are involved in the pathophysiology and treatment of depression through binding and activating their cognate receptors trk B and trk A respectively. The present study was performed to examine whether the expression profiles of BDNF and/or trk B as well as NGF and/or trk A were altered in postmortem brain in subjects who commit
suicide and whether these alterations were associated with specific psychopathologic conditions. These studies were performed in hippocampus obtained 21 suicide subjects and 19 non-psychiatric control subjects. The protein and mRNA levels of BDNF, trk B and NGF, trk A were determined with Sandwich ELISA, Western Blot and RT PCR respectively. Given the importance of BDNF
and NGF along with their cognate receptors in mediating physiological functions, including cell survival and synaptic plasticity, our findings of reduced expression of BDNF, Trk B and NGF, Trk A in both protein and mRNA levels of postmortem brain in suicide subjects suggest that these molecules may play an important role in the pathophysiological aspects of suicidal behavior.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), Nerve growth factor (NGF), Suicide, Postmortem brain, Hippocampus, TrkB, TrkA, RT PCR. ELISA

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