Fyn is an intermediate kinase that BDNF utilizes to promote oligodendrocyte myelination

Haley Peckham, Lauren Giuffrida, Rhiannon Wood, David Gonsalvez, Anita Ferner, Trevor J. Kilpatrick, Simon S. Murray, Junhua Xiao

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Fyn, a member of the Src family of nonreceptor tyrosine kinases, promotes central nervous system myelination during development; however the mechanisms mediating this effect remain unknown. Here we show that Fyn phosphorylation is modulated by BDNF in vivo. Concordant with this, we find that BDNF stimulates Fyn phosphorylation in myelinating cocultures, an effect dependent on oligodendroglial expression of TrkB. Importantly, PP2, a pharmacological inhibitor of Src family kinases, not only abrogated the promyelinating influence of BDNF in vitro, but also attenuated BDNF-induced phosphorylation of Erk1/2 in oligodendrocytes. Over-expression of Fyn in oligodendrocytes significantly promotes phosphorylation of Erk1/2, and promotes myelination to the extent that exogenous BDNF exerts no additive effect in vitro. In contrast, expression of a kinase-dead mutant of Fyn in oligodendrocytes significantly inhibited BDNF-induced activation of Erk1/2 and abrogated the promyelinating effect of BDNF. Analysis of white matter tracts in vivo revealed that phosphorylated Fyn primarily colocalized with mature oligodendrocytes, and was rarely observed in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, a profile that closely parallels the detection of phosphorylated Erk1/2 in the developing central nervous system. Taken together, these data identify that Fyn kinase exerts a key role in mediating the promyelinating influence of BDNF. Here we identify a pathway in which BDNF activation of oligodendroglial TrkB receptors stimulates the phosphorylation of Fyn, a necessary step required to potentiate the phosphorylation of Erk1/2, which in turn regulates oligodendrocyte myelination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-269
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • BDNF
  • ERK
  • Fyn
  • MAPK
  • Myelination
  • Oligodendrocyte
  • Src family kinase

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