, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 195-215

The Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF) Receptor Type 1 (IGF1R) as an Essential Component of the Signalling Network Regulating Neurogenesis

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The insulin-like growth factor receptor type 1 (IGF1R) signalling pathway is activated in the mammalian nervous system from early developmental stages. Its major effect on developing neural cells is to promote their growth and survival. This pathway can integrate its action with signalling pathways of growth and morphogenetic factors that induce cell fate specification and selective expansion of specified neural cell subsets. This suggests that during developmental and adult neurogenesis cellular responses to many signalling factors, including ligands of Notch, sonic hedgehog, fibroblast growth factor family members, ligands of the epidermal growth factor receptor, bone morphogenetic proteins and Wingless and Int-1, may be modified by co-activation of the IGF1R. Modulation of cell migration is another possible role that IGF1R activation may play in neurogenesis. Here, I briefly overview neurogenesis and discuss a role for IGF1R-mediated signalling in the developing and mature nervous system with emphasis on crosstalk between the signalling pathways of the IGF1R and other factors regulating neural cell development and migration. Studies on neural as well as on non-neural cells are highlighted because it may be interesting to test in neurogenic paradigms some of the models based on the information obtained in studies on non-neural cell types.