Trophic Factors and Parkinson’s Disease
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).
KeywordsNerve Growth Factor Neurotrophic Factor Dopaminergic Neuron Trophic Factor Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor
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