Received October 25, 2016; Revision received November 11, 2016
The excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate system and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) system are principally involved in phenomena of cellular and synaptic plasticity. These systems are interacting, and disclosing mechanisms of such interactions is critically important for understanding the machinery of neuroplasticity and its modulation in normal and pathological situations. The short state of evidence in this review addresses experimentally confirmed connections of these mechanisms and their potential relation to the pathogenesis of depression. The connections between the two systems are numerous and bidirectional, providing for mutual regulation of the glutamatergic and BDNF systems. The available data suggest that it is complex and well-coordinating nature of these connections that secures optimal synaptic and cellular plasticity in the normal brain. Both systems are associated with the pathogenesis of depression, and the disturbance of tight and well-balanced associations between them results in unfavorable changes in neuronal plasticity underlying depressive disorders and other mood diseases.
KEY WORDS: BDNF, glutamate, TrkB, NMDA receptors, AMPA receptors, metabotropic glutamate receptors, neuronal plasticity, synaptic plasticity, depression