Nerve growth factor as potential target in central nervous system disorders: A review

Author : Priyanka A. Wadke, Swati R. Dhande and Vilasrao J. Kadam

Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a member of neurotrophin family playing important role in growth, development and survival of neurons. This protein is synthesized and released by target tissues and it protects the neurons innervating that tissue from undergoing programmed cell death (apoptosis). NGF exerts its biological action by acting on specific receptor tropomyosin kinase receptor A (TrkA) activating the cytosolic/endosomal pathways which include Ras-mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) -Akt, and Phospholipase C (PLC) Ėγ. NGF interaction with p75 pan-neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) plays an important role in apoptosis. The function of NGF in neuronal survival and death makes it a potential target in nervous system disorders. NGF is found to play a major role in diseases like Alzheimerís disease, Parkinsonís disease, amyloid lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis and peripheral neuropathies and can have major role in other diseases too. NGF modulator studies are still going on and some drugs are in clinical trials which may produce beneficial outcomes. The current review focuses on the various aspects of NGF as therapeutic tool.

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