Nerve Growth Factor Effects on CNS Cholinergic Neurons In Vivo
Levi-Montalcini’s discovery of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) some 40 years ago has inspired dramatic changes in our perception of the nervous system as a highly regulated cell society. The concept that specific proteins (designated as neuronotrophic factors, or NTFs) are required for survival, growth and function of selected neuronal populations in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) during its development is being increasingly extended to the central nervous system (CNS) as well as to adult neurons in both PNS and CNS (Varon et al 1984; 1987a-d). If adult CNS neurons do depend throughout life on appropriately supplied NTFs, then it is possible to speculate that i) conditions leading to a deficient or defective NTF supply may be responsible for certain involutive or pathologic situations (Varon, 1975; Appel 1981), and/or ii) administration of exogenous NTFs could protect CNS neurons against such a deficit or alleviate their functional impairments.
KeywordsNerve Growth Factor Cholinergic Neuron Cresyl Violet Medial Septum Septal Neuron
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