Pathologists have long served as custodians of human biospecimens collected for diagnostic purposes. Rapid advancements in diagnostic technologies require that pathologists change their practices to optimize patient care. The proper handling of biospecimens creates opportunities for pathologists to improve their diagnoses while assessing prognosis and treatment. In addition, the growing need for high-quality biorepositories represents an opportunity for community pathologists to strengthen their role within the health care team, ensuring that clinical care is not compromised while facilitating research. This article provides a resource to community pathologists learning how to create high-quality biorepositories and participating in emerging opportunities in the biorepository field. While a variety of topics are covered to provide breadth of information, the intent is to facilitate a level of understanding that permits community pathologists to make more informed choices in identifying how best their skills and practice may be augmented to address developments in this field.
Exposure to glucocorticoids (GCs) in early development can lead to long-term changes in brain function and behavior although little is known about the underlying neural mechanisms. Perinatal exposure to GCs alters adult anxiety and neuroendocrine responses to stress. Therefore, we investigated the effects of either late gestational or neonatal exposure to the GC receptor agonist dexamethasone (DEX), on apoptosis within the amygdala, a region critical for emotional regulation. DEX was administered to timed-pregnant rat dams from gestational day 18 until parturition, or postnatal day 4-6. Offspring were sacrificed the day following the last DEX treatment and tissue was processed for immunohistochemical detection of cleaved caspase-3, a marker for apoptotic cells. Prenatal DEX treatment significantly increased the number of cleaved caspase-3 positive cells in the amygdala of both sexes, largely due to increases within the medial and basomedial sub-regions. Postnatal DEX treatment also increased cleaved caspase-3 immunoreactivity within the amygdala, although effects reached significance only in the central nucleus of females. Overall, DEX induction of cleaved caspase-3 in the amygdala was greater following prenatal compared to postnatal treatment, yet in both instances elevations in cleaved caspase-3 correlated with an increase in pro-apoptotic Bax mRNA expression. Dual-label immunohistochemistry of cleaved caspase-3 and the neuronal marker NeuN confirmed that virtually all cleaved caspase-3 positive cells in the amygdala were neurons and a subset of these cells (primarily following postnatal treatment) expressed a GABAergic calcium binding protein phenotype (calbindin or calretinin). Together these results indicate that early developmental GC exposure induces neuronal apoptosis within the amygdala in an age, sex, and region dependent manner.
dexamethasone; glucocorticoid; apoptosis; prenatal; neonatal; sex difference
Cells with osteogenic potential can be found in a variety of tissues. Here we show that circulating osteogenic precursor (COP) cells, a bone marrow-derived type I collagen+/CD45+ subpopulation of mononuclear adherent cells, are present in early pre-osseous fibroproliferative lesions in patients with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) and nucleate heterotopic ossification (HO) in a murine in vivo implantation assay. Blood samples from FOP patients with active episodes of HO contain significantly higher numbers of clonally-derived COP cell colonies than patients with stable disease or unaffected individuals. The highest level of COP cells was found in a patient just prior to the clinical onset of an HO exacerbation. Our studies show that even COP cells derived from an unaffected individual can contribute to HO in genetically susceptible host tissue. The possibility that circulating, hematopoietic-derived cells with osteogenic potential can seed inflammatory sites has tremendous implications and, to our knowledge, represents the first example of their involvement in clinical HO. Thus, bone formation is not limited to cells of the mesenchymal lineage, and circulating cells of hematopoietic origin can also serve as osteogenic precursors at remote sites of tissue inflammation.
Heterotopic ossification; mesenchymal progenitor cells; fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive; bone-marrow transplantation
We conducted a study designed to evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of a multilevel self-management intervention to improve nutritional intake in a group of older adults receiving Medicare home health services who were at especially high risk for experiencing undernutrition. The Behavioral Nutrition Intervention for Community Elders (B-NICE) trial used a prospective randomized controlled design to determine whether individually tailored counseling focused on social and behavioral aspects of eating resulted in increased caloric intake and improved nutrition-related health outcomes in a high-risk population of older adults. The study was guided by the theoretical approaches of the Ecological Model and Social Cognitive Theory. The development and implementation of the B-NICE protocol, including the theoretical framework, methodology, specific elements of the behavioral intervention, and assurances of the treatment fidelity, as well as the health policy implications of the trial results, are presented in this article.
aging; care transitions; community health; home health care; nutrition; randomized controlled trial; self management
We describe the synthesis and development of new reactive DOTA-metal complexes for covalently targeting engineered receptors in vivo, which have superior tumor uptake and clearance properties for biomedical applications. These probes are found to clear efficiently through the kidneys and minimally through other routes, but bind persistently in the tumor target. We also explore the new technique of Cerenkov luminescence imaging to optically monitor radiolabeled probe distribution and kinetics in vivo. Cerenkov luminescence imaging uniquely enables sensitive noninvasive in vivo imaging of a β− emitter such as 90Y with an optical imager.
Infectious and inflammatory diseases have repeatedly shown strong genetic associations within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC); however, the basis for these associations remains elusive. To define host genetic effects on the outcome of a chronic viral infection, we performed genome-wide association analysis in a multiethnic cohort of HIV-1 controllers and progressors, and we analyzed the effects of individual amino acids within the classical human leukocyte antigen (HLA) proteins. We identified >300 genome-wide significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the MHC and none elsewhere. Specific amino acids in the HLA-B peptide binding groove, as well as an independent HLA-C effect, explain the SNP associations and reconcile both protective and risk HLA alleles. These results implicate the nature of the HLA–viral peptide interaction as the major factor modulating durable control of HIV infection.
The purpose of this column is to provide an overview of social cognition in schizophrenia. The column begins with a short introduction to social cognition. Then, we describe the application of social cognition to the study of schizophrenia, with an emphasis on key domains (i.e., emotion perception, Theory of Mind, and attributional style). We conclude the column by discussing the relationship of social cognition to neurocognition, negative symptoms, and functioning, with an eye toward strategies for improving social cognition in schizophrenia.
social cognition; attributions; emotion perception; theory of mind; functional outcome
The human X chromosome has a unique biology that was shaped by its evolution as the sex chromosome shared by males and females. We have determined 99.3% of the euchromatic sequence of the X chromosome. Our analysis illustrates the autosomal origin of the mammalian sex chromosomes, the stepwise process that led to the progressive loss of recombination between X and Y, and the extent of subsequent degradation of the Y chromosome. LINE1 repeat elements cover one-third of the X chromosome, with a distribution that is consistent with their proposed role as way stations in the process of X-chromosome inactivation. We found 1,098 genes in the sequence, of which 99 encode proteins expressed in testis and in various tumour types. A disproportionately high number of mendelian diseases are documented for the X chromosome. Of this number, 168 have been explained by mutations in 113 X-linked genes, which in many cases were characterized with the aid of the DNA sequence.
Deficits in a wide array of functional outcome areas (eg, social functioning, social skills, independent living skills, etc) are marked in schizophrenia. Consequently, much recent research has attempted to identify factors that may contribute to functional outcome; social cognition is one such domain. The purpose of this article is to review research examining the relationship between social cognition and functional outcome. Comprehensive searches of PsycINFO and MEDLINE/PUBMED were conducted to identify relevant published manuscripts to include in the current review. It is concluded that the relationship between social cognition and functional outcome depends on the specific domains of each construct examined; however, it can generally be concluded that there are clear and consistent relationships between aspects of functional outcome and social cognition. These findings are discussed in light of treatment implications for schizophrenia.
social functioning; emotion perception; social perception; theory of mind
In addition to maintaining the GenBank(R) nucleic acid sequence database, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) provides analysis and retrieval resources for the data in GenBank and other biological data made available through NCBI's Web site. NCBI resources include Entrez, the Entrez Programming Utilities, MyNCBI, PubMed, PubMed Central, Entrez Gene, the NCBI Taxonomy Browser, BLAST, BLAST Link (BLink), Electronic PCR, OrfFinder, Spidey, Splign, RefSeq, UniGene, HomoloGene, ProtEST, dbMHC, dbSNP, Cancer Chromosomes, Entrez Genomes and related tools, the Map Viewer, Model Maker, Evidence Viewer, Clusters of Orthologous Groups, Retroviral Genotyping Tools, HIV-1, Human Protein Interaction Database, SAGEmap, Gene Expression Omnibus, Entrez Probe, GENSAT, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals, the Molecular Modeling Database, the Conserved Domain Database, the Conserved Domain Architecture Retrieval Tool and the PubChem suite of small molecule databases. Augmenting many of the Web applications are custom implementations of the BLAST program optimized to search specialized datasets. All of the resources can be accessed through the NCBI home page at: .
The binding of HDL to scavenger receptor–BI (SR-BI) mediates cholesterol movement. HDL also induces multiple cellular signals, which in endothelium occur through SR-BI and converge to activate eNOS. To determine the molecular basis of a signaling event induced by HDL, we examined the proximal mechanisms in HDL activation of eNOS. In endothelial cells, HDL and methyl-β-cyclodextrin caused comparable eNOS activation, whereas cholesterol-loaded methyl-β-cyclodextrin had no effect. Phosphatidylcholine-loaded HDL caused greater stimulation than native HDL, and blocking antibody against SR-BI, which prevents cholesterol efflux, prevented eNOS activation. In a reconstitution model in COS-M6 cells, wild-type SR-BI mediated eNOS activation by both HDL and small unilamellar vesicles (SUVs), whereas the SR-BI mutant AVI, which is incapable of efflux to SUV, transmitted signal by only HDL. In addition, eNOS activation by methyl-β-cyclodextrin was SR-BI dependent. Studies of mutant and chimeric class B scavenger receptors revealed that the C-terminal cytoplasmic PDZ-interacting domain and the C-terminal transmembrane domains of SR-BI are both necessary for HDL signaling. Furthermore, we demonstrated direct binding of cholesterol to the C-terminal transmembrane domain using a photoactivated derivative of cholesterol. Thus, HDL signaling requires cholesterol binding and efflux and C-terminal domains of SR-BI, and SR-BI serves as a cholesterol sensor on the plasma membrane.
On November 19, 2001, a case of inhalational anthrax was identified in a 94-year-old Connecticut woman, who later died. We conducted intensive surveillance for additional anthrax cases, which included collecting data from hospitals, emergency departments, private practitioners, death certificates, postal facilities, veterinarians, and the state medical examiner. No additional cases of anthrax were identified. The absence of additional anthrax cases argued against an intentional environmental release of Bacillus anthracis in Connecticut and suggested that, if the source of anthrax had been cross-contaminated mail, the risk for anthrax in this setting was very low. This surveillance system provides a model that can be adapted for use in similar emergency settings.
Successful efforts to control infectious diseases have often required the use of effective vaccines. The current global strategy for control of malaria, including elimination and eradication will also benefit from the development of an effective vaccine that interrupts malaria transmission. To this end, a vaccine that disrupts malaria transmission within the mosquito host has been investigated for several decades targeting a 25 kDa ookinete specific surface protein, identified as Pfs25. Phase 1 human trial results using a recombinant Pfs25H/Montanide ISA51 formulation demonstrated that human Pfs25 specific antibodies block parasite infectivity to mosquitoes; however, the extent of blocking was likely insufficient for an effective transmission blocking vaccine. To overcome the poor immunogenicity, processes to produce and characterize recombinant Pfs25H conjugated to a detoxified form of Pseudomonas aeruginosa exoprotein A (EPA) have been developed and used to manufacture a cGMP pilot lot for use in human clinical trials. The Pfs25-EPA conjugate appears as a nanoparticle with an average molar mass in solution of approximately 600 kDa by static light scattering with an average diameter 20 nm (range 10 to 40 nm) by dynamic light scattering. The molar ratio of Pfs25H to EPA is about 3 to 1 by amino acid analysis, respectively. Outbred mice immunized with the Pfs25-EPA conjugated nanoparticle formulated on Alhydrogel® had a 75 to 110 fold increase in Pfs25H specific antibodies when compared to an unconjugated Pfs25H/Alhydrogel® formulation. A phase 1 human trial using the Pfs25-EPA/Alhydrogel® formulation is ongoing in the United States.
Pfs25; malaria; transmission blocking vaccine; nanoparticle; chemical-conjugate; recombinant protein
Genetically engineered tumor-selective vaccinia virus (VV) has been demonstrated to be a highly effective oncolytic agent, but immune clearance may limit its therapeutic potential. As previously demonstrated, immunosuppression can lead to significant enhancement of viral recovery and therapeutic effect, but the magnitude of complement-mediated viral inactivation has not been fully elucidated and warrants further investigation. Using fluorescent microscopy and quantitative plaque assays, we have determined complement's key role in viral clearance and its multi-faceted means to pathogen destruction. Complement can lead to direct viral destruction and inhibition of viral uptake into cells, even in the absence of anti-vaccinia antibodies. Our data demonstrate C5 to be integral to the clearance pathway, and its inhibition by Staphylococcal superantigen-like protein (SSL7) leads to a 90-fold and 150-fold enhancement of VV infectivity in both the presence and absence of anti-VV antibodies, respectively. This study suggests that complement inhibition may reduce vaccinia viral neutralization and may be critical to future in vivo work.
vaccinia virus; complement; C5; SSL7; compstatin; cobra venom factor
Chimeric antigen receptor–modified T cells with specificity for CD19 have shown promise in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It remains to be established whether chimeric antigen receptor T cells have clinical activity in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Two children with relapsed and refractory pre–B-cell ALL received infusions of T cells transduced with anti-CD19 antibody and a T-cell signaling molecule (CTL019 chimeric antigen receptor T cells), at a dose of 1.4×106 to 1.2×107 CTL019 cells per kilogram of body weight. In both patients, CTL019 T cells expanded to a level that was more than 1000 times as high as the initial engraftment level, and the cells were identified in bone marrow. In addition, the chimeric antigen receptor T cells were observed in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), where they persisted at high levels for at least 6 months. Eight grade 3 or 4 adverse events were noted. The cytokine-release syndrome and B-cell aplasia developed in both patients. In one child, the cytokine-release syndrome was severe; cytokine blockade with etanercept and tocilizumab was effective in reversing the syndrome and did not prevent expansion of chimeric antigen receptor T cells or reduce anti-leukemic efficacy. Complete remission was observed in both patients and is ongoing in one patient at 11 months after treatment. The other patient had a relapse, with blast cells that no longer expressed CD19, approximately 2 months after treatment. Chimeric antigen receptor–modified T cells are capable of killing even aggressive, treatment-refractory acute leukemia cells in vivo. The emergence of tumor cells that no longer express the target indicates a need to target other molecules in addition to CD19 in some patients with ALL.
Few empirical findings or technical guidelines are available on the current transition from analog to digital audio recording in childhood speech sound disorders. Of particular concern in the present context was whether a transition from analog- to digital-based transcription and coding of prosody and voice features might require re-standardizing a reference database for research in childhood speech sound disorders. Two research transcribers with different levels of experience glossed, transcribed, and prosody-voice coded conversational speech samples from eight children with mild to severe speech disorders of unknown origin. The samples were recorded, stored, and played back using representative analog and digital audio systems. Effect sizes calculated for an array of analog versus digital comparisons ranged from negligible to medium, with a trend for participants’ speech competency scores to be slightly lower for samples obtained and transcribed using the digital system. We discuss the implications of these and other findings for research and clinical practise.
Articulation; assessment; phonology; prosody; transcription
Intercellular adherens junctions and cell-extracellular matrix interactions are presumed to influence aqueous humor (AH) drainage via the conventional route, however, their direct role in modulation of intraocular pressure (IOP) is not well understood. Here, we investigated the role of Rac GTPase signaling in basal and growth factor-induced formation of adherens junctions in human trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells as compared to human umbilical vascular endothelial cells, and evaluated the effects of inhibition of Rac GTPase activity on IOP in rabbits. Expression of a constitutively active Rac1 GTPase or treatment with platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), a known activator of Rac GTPase, induced formation of β-catenin-based adherens junctions, actin cytoskeletal reorganization and membrane ruffle in HTM cells. In contrast, treatment of HTM cells with inhibitors of Rac GTPase caused cell-cell separation, a decrease in adherens junctions, and reorganization of actin stress fibers to the cell cortical regions and focal adhesion to the cell leading edges. Both, constitutively active Rac1 and PDGF stimulated generation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in HTM cells, and ROS were found to increase adherens junction formation and transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) in HTM cells. Topical application of Rac GTPase inhibitors (EHT1864 and NSC23766), however, only marginally influenced IOP in rabbit eyes. Taken together, these data reveal that while Rac GTPase signaling plays a significant role in regulation of adherens junctions, ROS production and TEER in cells of the AH outflow pathway, Rac inhibitors showed only a marginal influence on IOP in live rabbits.
Rac GTPase; Adherens junctions; Cytoskeleton; Trabecular meshwork; ROS; Intraocular pressure
To examine the frequency of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) in relation to depressive symptoms in a nationally representative sample of African American (AA) women and AA men with guidance by Stokols' Social Ecological Framework.
A secondary analysis of AA women (n=1,811) and AA men (n=1,038) was performed on the National Survey of American Life, where a four stage national area probability sampling was conducted. Interviews were conducted 2001-2003. Clinically depressed AA were excluded from the current study. LTPA was measured by self-report frequency (never, rarely, sometimes, often) of participation in sports/exercise. Depressive symptoms were measured with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale. Logistic regression for complex samples was used to examine the relationship between LTPA and depressive symptoms, adjusting for biopsychobehavioral and sociophysical environmental factors.
Compared with AA women and AA men who reported never participating in LTPA, the multivariate OR for depressive symptoms in AA women and AA men who reported participating in LTPA often was 0.42 (95% CI=0.24-0.72) and 0.41 (95% CI=0.25-0.69) respectively.
Increased frequency of LTPA was associated with fewer depressive symptoms in a nationally representative sample of non-clinically depressed AAs.
exercise; sport; depression; preventive medicine
Type III secretion systems (T3SS) are essential for virulence in dozens of pathogens, but are not required for growth outside the host. Therefore, the T3SS of many bacterial species are under tight regulatory control. To increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind T3SS regulation, we performed a transposon screen to identify genes important for T3SS function in the food-borne pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. We identified two unique transposon insertions in YPTB2860, a gene that displays 79% identity with the E. coli
iron-sulfur cluster regulator, IscR. A Y. pseudotuberculosis iscR in-frame deletion mutant (ΔiscR) was deficient in secretion of Ysc T3SS effector proteins and in targeting macrophages through the T3SS. To determine the mechanism behind IscR control of the Ysc T3SS, we carried out transcriptome and bioinformatic analysis to identify Y. pseudotuberculosis genes regulated by IscR. We discovered a putative IscR binding motif upstream of the Y. pseudotuberculosis yscW-lcrF operon. As LcrF controls transcription of a number of critical T3SS genes in Yersinia, we hypothesized that Yersinia IscR may control the Ysc T3SS through LcrF. Indeed, purified IscR bound to the identified yscW-lcrF promoter motif and mRNA levels of lcrF and 24 other T3SS genes were reduced in Y. pseudotuberculosis in the absence of IscR. Importantly, mice orally infected with the Y. pseudotuberculosis ΔiscR mutant displayed decreased bacterial burden in Peyer's patches, mesenteric lymph nodes, spleens, and livers, indicating an essential role for IscR in Y. pseudotuberculosis virulence. This study presents the first characterization of Yersinia IscR and provides evidence that IscR is critical for virulence and type III secretion through direct regulation of the T3SS master regulator, LcrF.
Bacterial pathogens use regulators that sense environmental cues to enhance their fitness. Here, we identify a transcriptional regulator in the human gut pathogen, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, which controls a specialized secretion system essential for bacterial growth in mammalian tissues. This regulator was shown in other bacterial species to alter its activity in response to changes in iron concentration and oxidative stress, but has never been studied in Yersinia. Importantly, Y. pseudotuberculosis experiences large changes in iron bioavailability upon transit from the gut to deeper tissues and iron is a critical component in Yersinia virulence, as individuals with iron overload disorders have enhanced susceptibility to systemic Yersinia infections. Our work places this iron-modulated transcriptional regulator within the regulatory network that controls virulence gene expression in Y. pseudotuberculosis, identifying it as a potential new target for antimicrobial agents.
This study describes a combined transcriptome and proteome analysis of Monodelphis domestica response to spinal cord injury at two different postnatal ages. Previously we showed that complete transection at postnatal day 7 (P7) is followed by profuse axon growth across the lesion with near-normal locomotion and swimming when adult. In contrast, at P28 there is no axon growth across the lesion, the animals exhibit weight-bearing locomotion, but cannot use hind limbs when swimming. Here we examined changes in gene and protein expression in the segment of spinal cord rostral to the lesion at 24 h after transection at P7 and at P28. Following injury at P7 only forty genes changed (all increased expression); most were immune/inflammatory genes. Following injury at P28 many more genes changed their expression and the magnitude of change for some genes was strikingly greater. Again many were associated with the immune/inflammation response. In functional groups known to be inhibitory to regeneration in adult cords the expression changes were generally muted, in some cases opposite to that required to account for neurite inhibition. For example myelin basic protein expression was reduced following injury at P28 both at the gene and protein levels. Only four genes from families with extracellular matrix functions thought to influence neurite outgrowth in adult injured cords showed substantial changes in expression following injury at P28: Olfactomedin 4 (Olfm4, 480 fold compared to controls), matrix metallopeptidase (Mmp1, 104 fold), papilin (Papln, 152 fold) and integrin α4 (Itga4, 57 fold). These data provide a resource for investigation of a priori hypotheses in future studies of mechanisms of spinal cord regeneration in immature animals compared to lack of regeneration at more mature stages.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), or dry eye, is a significant medical problem in both humans and dogs. Treating KCS often requires the daily application of more than one type of eye drop in order to both stimulate tear prodcution and provide a tear supplement to increase hydration and lubrication. A previous study demonstrated the potential for a crosslinked hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel (xCMHA-S) to reduce the clinical signs associated with KCS in dogs while using a reduced dosing regimen of only twice-daily administration. The present study extended those results by comparing the use of the xCMHA-S to a standard HA-containing tear supplement in a masked, randomized clinical study in dogs with a clinical diagnosis of KCS. The xCMHA-S was found to significantly improve ocular surface health (conjunctival hyperaemia, ocular irritation, and ocular discharge) to a greater degree than the alternative tear supplement (P = 0.0003). Further, owners reported the xCMHA-S treatment as being more highly effective than the alternative tear supplement (P = 0.0024). These results further demonstrate the efficacy of the xCMHA-S in reducing the clinical signs associated with KCS, thereby improving patient health and owner happiness.
U.S. prisons have a court-affirmed mandate to provide health care to prisoners. Given this mandate, we sought to determine whether use of prison health care was equitable across race using a nationally-representative sample of Black and White male state prisoners. We first examined the prevalence of health conditions by race. Then, across all health conditions and for each of 15 conditions, we compared the proportion of Black and White male prisoners with the condition who received health care. For most conditions including cancer, heart disease, and liver-related disorders, the age-adjusted prevalence of disease among Blacks was lower than among Whites (p<.05). Blacks were also modestly more likely than Whites to use health care for existing conditions (p<.05), particularly hypertension, cerebral vascular accident/brain injury, cirrhosis, flu-like illness, and injury. The observed racial disparities in health and health care use are different from those among non-incarcerated populations.
Prisoners; health disparities; access to health care; health care systems
The villi of the human and chick gut are formed in similar step-wise progressions, wherein the mesenchyme and attached epithelium first fold into longitudinal ridges, then a zigzag pattern, and finally individual villi. We find that these steps of villification depend upon the sequential differentiation of the distinct smooth muscle layers of the gut, which restrict the expansion of the growing endoderm and mesenchyme, generating compressive stresses that lead to their buckling and folding. A quantitative computational model, incorporating measured properties of the developing gut, recapitulates the morphological patterns seen during villification in a variety of species. These results provide a mechanistic understanding of the formation of these elaborations of the lining of the gut, essential for providing sufficient surface area for nutrient absorption.
The neurotrophin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), is recognized as a key component in the regulation of central nervous system ontogeny, homeostasis and adult neuroplasticity. The importance of BDNF in central nervous system development and function is well documented by numerous reports from animal studies linking abnormal BDNF signaling to metabolic disturbances and anxiety or depressive-like behavior. Despite the diverse roles for BDNF in nearly all aspects of central nervous system physiology, the regulation of BDNF expression, as well as our understanding of the signaling mechanisms associated with this neurotrophin, remains incomplete. However, links between sex hormones such as estradiol and testosterone, as well as endogenous and synthetic glucocorticoids, have emerged as important mediators of BDNF expression and function. Examples of such regulation include brain region-specific induction of Bdnf mRNA in response to estradiol. Additional studies have also documented regulation of the expression of the high-affinity BDNF receptor TrkB by estradiol, thus implicating sex steroids not only in the regulation of BDNF expression, but on mechanisms of signaling associated with it. In addition to gonadal steroids, further evidence also suggests functional interaction between BDNF and glucocorticoids, such as in the regulation of corticotrophin-releasing hormone and other important neuropeptides. In this review, we provide an overview of the roles played by selected sex or stress hormones in the regulation of BDNF expression and signaling in the central nervous system