Copyright ©The Author(s) 2022. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Psychiatry. Jan 19, 2022; 12(1): 77-97
Published online Jan 19, 2022. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v12.i1.77
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and inflammation in depression: Pathogenic partners in crime?
Grace A Porter, Jason C O’Connor
Grace A Porter, Department of Pharmacology, UT Health San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229, United States
Jason C O’Connor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229, United States
Jason C O’Connor, Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital, South Texas Veterans Health System, San Antonio, TX 78229, United States
Author contributions: Porter G contributed to content decisions, prepared initial draft and figures, and edited the revised submission; O'Connor J contributed to content decisions, supervised initial draft and figures, prepared response to reviewers and final drafts for both initial and revised submission.
Supported by National Institutes of Health, No. TL1 TR002647; Veterans Affairs, No. I01BX003195.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Jason C O’Connor, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health San Antonio, 216B Medical Building MC-7764, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229, United States.
Received: April 28, 2021
Peer-review started: April 28, 2021
First decision: July 14, 2021
Revised: July 21, 2021
Accepted: December 2, 2021
Article in press: December 2, 2021
Published online: January 19, 2022
Core Tip

Core Tip: Low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and high inflammation have both been implicated as risk factors in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder. Here we review the role BDNF and inflammation play in the etiology of depression and the interaction between them. Recent evidence suggests a bidirectional connection between these two risk factors: inflammation reduces BDNF expression, and BDNF may have a negative regulatory role in resolving neuroinflammation. Understanding of this interaction in the context of neuropsychiatric disease is important for a fuller understanding of biological pathogenesis of depression and for identifying novel therapeutic opportunities.