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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1995 Dec;7(6):878-84.

Influence of growth factors on neuronal differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Neuropathology, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, Harlow, Essex, UK.


With so many neurotrophins and receptors now known, how is our picture of neurotrophism changing? Recent studies on knockout mice have confirmed our expectations of neurotrophin action in neuronal development. A notable exception is the activation of TrkB, on motor neurons, by an unknown ligand. It is also clear that some neurotrophins have diverse activities and influence early developmental stages. There are interesting new data concerning the role of p75, the low affinity neurotrophin receptor, as a modulator of neurotrophin activity. Even more exciting are new studies on glia-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) which demonstrate that this growth factor acts as a potential protector of motor neurons and striatal dopaminergic neurons.

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