Li, W. J., Yu, H., Yang, J. M. et al. 2010. Anxiolytic effect of music exposure on BDNFMet/Met transgenic mice. Brain Research 1347, 71-79.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been reported to play important roles in the modulation of anxiety, mood stabilizers, and pathophysiology of affective disorders. Recently, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the BDNF gene (Val66Met) has been found to be associated with depression and anxiety disorders. The humanized BDNF(Met/Met) knock-in transgenic mice exhibited increased anxiety-related behaviors that were unresponsive to serotonin reuptake inhibitors, fluoxetine. Music is known to be able to elicit emotional changes, including anxiolytic effects. In this study, we found that music treatment could significantly decrease anxiety state in BDNF(Met/Met) mice, but not in BDNF(+/)(-), mice compared with white noise exposure in open field and elevated plus maze test. Moreover, in contrast to white noise exposure, BDNF expression levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala and hippocampus were significantly increased in music-exposed adult BDNF(Met/Met) mice. However, music treatment could not upregulate BDNF levels in the PFC, amygdala, and hippocampus in BDNF(+/)(-) mice, which suggests the essential role of BDNF in the anxiolytic effect of music. Together, our results imply that music may provide an effective therapeutic intervention for anxiety disorders in humans with this genetic BDNF(Met) variant.