Brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression increases after enzyme replacement therapy in Gaucher disease

Filippo Vairo, Fernanda Sperb-Ludwig, Matheus Wilke, Kristiane Michellin-Tirelli, Cristina Netto, Eurico Camargo Neto, Ida Vanessa Doederlein Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Mutations in the GBA gene are related to an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases. The exact molecular mechanisms involved in the interaction between GBA and α-synuclein, a protein that has been associated with several neurological diseases, remain unsolved. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin that is important for the normal development of the peripheral and central nervous system, and it plays a key role in neuronal survival and synaptic plasticity in the adult brain. A reduction in BDNF expression has been reported in patients with Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. We analyzed BDNF levels in the plasma of Gaucher Disease (GD) patients who were not being treated with enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) and then subsequently following ERT; we compared the levels to those of healthy controls. We demonstrated that BDNF levels were remarkably diminished in GD patients who were under no specific treatment and these levels increased following ERT. This is the first study that demonstrates a variation in the plasma levels of a neurotrophic factor in GD type 1 patients. Further studies are required to correlate BDNF level variations with the clinical findings and the response to therapy in GD patients. Low levels of BDNF are associated with neurodegenerative diseases; therefore, BDNF could provide a new therapeutic target for GD patients with neurological symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-193
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of neuroimmunology
StatePublished - Jan 15 2015


  • BDNF
  • Enzyme replacement therapy
  • Gaucher disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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