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Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2004 Apr-Jun;15(2-3):147-56.

The role of epidermal growth factor and its receptors in mammalian CNS.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a common mitogenic factor that stimulates the proliferation of different types of cells, especially fibroblasts and epithelial cells. EGF activates the EGF receptor (EGFR/ErbB), which initiates, in turn, intracellular signaling. EGFR family is also expressed in neurons of the hippocampus, cerebellum, and cerebral cortex in addition to other regions of the central nervous system (CNS). EGF enhances the differentiation, maturation and survival of a variety of neurons. Transgenic mice lacking the EGFR developed neurodegenerative disease and die within the first month of birth. EGF acts not only on mitotic cells but also on postmitotic neurons, and many studies have indicated that EGF has neuromodulatory effect on various types of neurons in the CNS. This review highlights some of the major recent findings pertinent to the EGF and ErbB family with special references to elucidating their roles in the regulation of neurogenesis, signal transduction and trafficking and degradation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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