During development, promotes the survival and differentiation of selected neuronal populations of the peripheral and central nervous systems. Participates in axonal growth, pathfinding and in the modulation of dendritic growth and morphology. Major regulator of synaptic transmission and plasticity at adult synapses in many regions of the CNS. The versatility of BDNF is emphasized by its contribution to a range of adaptive neuronal responses including long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD), certain forms of short-term synaptic plasticity, as well as homeostatic regulation of intrinsic neuronal excitability. Defects in BDNF are a cause of congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS); also known as congenital failure of autonomic control or Ondine curse. CCHS is a rare disorder characterized by abnormal control of respiration in the absence of neuromuscular or lung disease, or an identifiable brain stem lesion. A deficiency in autonomic control of respiration results in inadequate or negligible ventilatory and arousal responses to hypercapnia and hypoxemia. CCHS is frequently complicated with neurocristopathies such as Hirschsprung disease that occurs in about 16% of CCHS cases. Belongs to the NGF-beta family. 5 isoforms of the human protein are produced by alternative promoter. Note: This description may include information from UniProtKB.
Protein type: Cell development/differentiation; Cytokine; Secreted; Secreted, signal peptide