Neuroplasticity and neurotrophic factors

Eero Castrén labor­at­ory

Neuronal plasticity is a fundamental process in neuronal development and recovery from brain disorders. The Trophin lab focuses on the role of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and its receptor TRKB in the plasticity and in the mechanisms of drugs used for the treatment of brain disorders. We have found that antidepressant drugs, including typical and fast-acting antidepressants, directly bind to TRKB receptors and allosterically promote BDNF signaling. TRKB signaling in turn induces critical period-like plasticity that leads to beneficial rewiring of neuronal networks when antidepressant-induced plasticity is combined with training that guides plastic networks.