The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in neuronal development, and in the formation and plasticity of synaptic connections. These effects of BDNF are at least partially due to the ability of the neurotrophin to increase protein synthesis both globally and locally. However, only a few proteins have been shown to be up-regulated at the synapse by BDNF. Using multidimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT) and relative quantification by spectra counting, we found that several hundred proteins are up-regulated in a synaptoneurosome preparation derived from cultured cortical neurons that were treated with BDNF. These proteins fall into diverse functional categories, including those involved in synaptic vesicle formation and movement, maintenance or remodeling of synaptic structure, mRNA processing, transcription, and translation. A number of translation factors, ribosomal proteins, and tRNA synthetases were rapidly up-regulated by BDNF. This up-regulation of translation components was sensitive to protein synthesis inhibitors and dependent on the activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a regulator of cap-dependent mRNA translation. The presence of a subset of these proteins and their mRNAs in neuronal processes was corroborated by immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization, and their up-regulation was confirmed by Western blotting. The data demonstrate that BDNF increases the synthesis of a wide variety of synaptic proteins and suggest that the neurotrophin may enhance the translational capacity of synapses.