Potential Pharmacological Use of Neurotrophic Factors in the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases

  • Franz Hefti
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 36)


There is growing evidence that development, maintenance of function, and regeneration of neurons are influenced by trophic hormones or neurotrophic factors. These neurotrophic factors stimulate mechanisms necessary for survival, neurite growth and functions related to transmitter production and release. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is the first and best characterized neurotrophic factor and serves as a paradigm for more recently discovered molecules. NGF trophically acts on peripheral sympathetic and sensory neurons, and cholinergic neurons in the brain. Other neurotrophic molecules characterized so far influence various other neuronal populations. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a protein purified from pig brain which supports the survival of chick sensory neurons and rat retinal ganglion cells. Glia- derived nexin produced by glial cells and inducing neurite growth of neuroblastoma cells was found to br an inhibitor of cell- derived protteases. Thid finding is in line with other evdence for a role of proteases an d protease inhibitors in neurite growth and regeneration.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Thyroid Hormone Retinoic Acid Nerve Growth Factor Neurotrophic Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franz Hefti
    • 1
  1. 1.Andrus Gerontology Center and Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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