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Arch Ital Biol. 2011 Jun;149(2):283-92. doi: 10.4449/aib.v149i2.1363.

Clinical applications of NGF in ocular diseases.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, Italy.


Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and its receptors TrkA and p75 are expressed in physiological states in the anterior and posterior segments of the human eye, where they exert several tissue-specific functions. The roles played by NGF in the homeostasis of the eye and in vision are, therefore, crucial and have been widely investigated both in vitro and in vivo, with growing evidence of an NGF-pathway alteration in several ocular diseases. In this review we describe the functions of NGF in health and diseases states of the eye, and discuss the potential therapeutic effectiveness of NGF in preliminary clinical reports performed in severe ocular diseases unresponsive to any standard treatment. In fact, pharmacodynamic studies showing that NGF administered topically on the ocular surface affects not only the ocular surface but is also able to reach the retina, optic nerve and brain, recently opened new perspectives for the treatment of challenging ocular surface diseases, optic nerve diseases, and degenerative diseases of the retina currently lacking an effective therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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