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The neurotrophin family of NGF-related neurotrophic factors

Authors Lindsay, R.M.
Alderson, R.F.
Friedman, B.
Hyman, C.
Ip, N.Y. View this author's profile
Furth, M.E.
Maisonpierre, P.C.
Squinto, S.P.
Yancopoulos, G.D.
Issue Date 1991
Source Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience , v. 2, (4-6), 1991, p. 211-220
Summary The recent molecular cloning of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) has established the existence of an NGF-related family of neurotrophic factors - the neurotrophins. Purification and recombinant production of BDNF and NT-3 has allowed the initiation or extension of in vitro studies of the neuronal specificity of each of these factors. We have found that NT-3, like NGF and BDNF, promotes survival and neurite outgrowth from certain populations of sensory neurons. There appear to be both distinct and overlapping specificities of the 3 neurotrophins towards peripheral neurons sympathetic neurons and subpopulations of neural crest and neural placode-derived sensory neurons. Using cultures of central nervous system neurons, we have recently established that BDNF: (i) promotes the survival and phenotypic differentiation of rat septal cholinergic neurons, a property consistent with the discovery of high levels of BDNF mRNA expression within the hippocampus; (ii) promotes the survival of rat nigral dopaminergic neurons and furthermore protects these neurons from two dopaminergic neurotoxins, 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and MPTP. Thus the neurotrophic effects of these factors towards peripheral neurons and neuronal populations known to degenerate in two of the major human neurodegenerative diseases - Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease - provokes the question of whether neurotrophic factors may have therapeutic potential in halting the progression and ameliorating the symptoms of devastating neurological disorders of the CNS or PNS, or improving regeneration of neurons of CNS or PNS after traumatic injury.
ISSN 0922-6028
Language English
Format Conference paper
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