Adipose-derived stem cells(ADSCs) are multipotent cells that can be manipulated to differentiate into different cell lines and are considered a potential cell source for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. The brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is known to stimulate stem cells to differentiate into neuronal cells as well as promote plasticity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of BDNF on the neuronal differentiation of ADSCs. The proliferation of the ADSCs was increased by BDNF in a dose-dependent manner. The expression of neuronal markers including Nestin and microtubule-associated protein(MAP2) were highly upregulated by BDNF. In addition, BDNF considerably suppressed the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein(GFAP), a preventative glial cell or astrocyte marker. Using immunocytochemistry, we confirmed the results by real time-PCR. An increased production of Nestin and MAP2 by BDNF, but not GFAP was observed. These data show that supplementation of the ADSCs with BDNF effectively maintained cell survival, proliferation and differentiation of these cells into neuronal precursor cells. In conclusion, specific neuronal differentiation of ADSCs after treatment with BDNF increased the generation of a mature neuronal phenotype.