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J Neural Transm Suppl. 1987;24:309-15.

Nerve growth factor is a neurotrophic factor for forebrain cholinergic neurons; implications for Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida.


Findings obtained in recent years provide strong evidence that nerve growth factor (NGF) acts as a neurotrophic factor for cholinergic neurons of the mammalian forebrain. NFG receptors are exclusively localized on these neurons in the rat and human forebrain. NGF promotes survival, fiber elongation and expression of transmitter-specific enzymes of forebrain cholinergic neurons, in vivo and in vitro. In adult rats, intraventricular injections of NGF attenuate the degeneration of these cells after experimental lesions. These findings suggest that NGF might be able to attenuate the degeneration of cholinergic neurons occurring in Alzheimer's disease.

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