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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2002 Oct;12(5):523-31.

Neurotrophic factors and axonal growth.

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  • 1Neuroscience Center, Neuroscience Research Building, 103 Mason Farm Road Campus, Box 7250, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


Neuronal morphological differentiation is regulated by numerous polypeptide growth factors (neurotrophic factors). Recently, significant progress has been achieved in clarifying the roles of neurotrophins as well as glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family members in peripheral axon elongation during development. Additionally, advances have been made in defining the signal transduction mechanisms employed by these factors in mediating axon morphological responses. Several studies addressed the role of neurotrophic factors in regenerative axon growth and suggest that signaling mechanisms in addition to those triggered by receptor tyrosine kinases may be required for successful peripheral nervous system regeneration. Finally, recent investigations demonstrate that neurotrophic factors can enhance axon growth after spinal cord injuries.

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