Trophic Factors and Parkinson’s Disease

  • W. H. Oertel
  • A. Kupsch
Part of the Advances in Research on Neurodegeneration book series (ARN, volume 2)


During the development period, neurons are abundantly generated in the vertebrate nervous system. Following the arrival of their axons in the target areas, only a proportion of these neurons will survive. These neurons are thought to have successfully competed for a target-derived, retrogradely transported neurotrophic factor, present in limited amounts in the target fields. Such a neurotrophic factor, in its narrow definition, is a survival factor for embryonic neurons in either the peripheral or central nervous system. This definition is derived from research on nerve growth factor (NGF) (Levi-Montalcini and Booker, 1960). NGF belongs to the family of “neurotrophic,” which subsumes brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; for reviews, see Barde, 1989; Levi-Montalcini, 1987; Thoenen et al., 1987), neurotrophin-3/neurotrophin 4 (NT-3/NT-4; see Glass et al., 1991; Hohn et al, 1990), and neurotrophin 5 (NT-5; see Berkemeier et al., 1991). In addition, a number of other nontarget-derived molecules are known to influence survival and differentiation of certain neurons and nonneuronal cells. These factors include ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), acidic and basic fibroblast growth factor (FG F-1 and FGF-2, respectively), epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factors I and II (IGF-I, IGF-II), and muscle-derived differentiation factor (MDF).


Nerve Growth Factor Neurotrophic Factor Dopaminergic Neuron Trophic Factor Ciliary 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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© Birkhäuser Boston 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. H. Oertel
  • A. Kupsch

There are no affiliations available

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