Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in the Adult Brain

  • Carmen Estrada
  • Antonio Villalobo
Part of the Contemporary Neuroscience book series (CNEURO)


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) plays a relevant role in brain development. Expression of EGFR and its ligands occurs in those regions in which neuronal and glial cells are generated, and EGFR activation is essential for the proliferation of multipotent neural precursors, as well as the survival, migration, and differentiation of the immature daughter cells. In the adult brain, EGFR is expressed in specific regions in physiological conditions. In the subventricular zone, where neurogenesis persists into adulthood, the EGFR contributes to the maintenance of the progenitor pool, and probably serves functions similar to those observed during development. Expression of both EGFR and its ligands is upregulated in different types of brain lesions where they may participate in brain self-repair by mechanisms that are not yet well understood. Finally, EGFR overexpression, as well as aberrant forms of the receptor, is present in a variety of cerebral tumors. Future research on cerebral EGFR function may lead to new therapeutic strategies in neurodegenerative or ischemic diseases and brain tumors.

Key Words

Brain repair brain tumors EGF EGFR gliogenesis HB-EGF neural stem cells neurogenesis reactive astroglia TGF-α 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen Estrada
    • 1
  • Antonio Villalobo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Facultad de MedicinaUniversity of CádizCádizSpain
  2. 2.Institute of Investigational BiomedicineUniversity of MadridMadridSpain

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