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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2002;513:353-74.

TGF-betas and their roles in the regulation of neuron survival.

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Neuroanatomy and Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences (IZN), University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 307, 2. OG, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Transforming growth factor-betas (TGF-betas) are a still growing superfamily of cytokines with widespread distribution and diverse biological functions. They fall into several subfamilies including the TGF-betas 1, 2, and 3, the bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), the growth/differentiation factors (GDFs), activins and inhibins, and the members of the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family. Following a brief description of their general roles and signaling in development, maintenance of homeostasis, and disease, we shall focus on their distribution in the CNS and their involvement in regulating neuron survival and death.

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