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J Neurosci Res. 1997 Nov 1;50(3):355-60.

Actions of the neurotrophins on calcium uptake.

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1
Section on Growth Factors, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

The neurotrophins are important for their long-term effects on the survival and differentiation of many types of neurons during development. They also appear to protect mature neurons from injury caused by nutrient or oxygen deprivation. More recently, the neurotrophins have been implicated in such short-term processes as synaptic plasticity. A great deal of evidence suggests that intracellular calcium levels play a key role in neuronal survival during normal development, in neuronal injury following nutrient or oxygen deprivation, and in synaptic plasticity as well. Maintaining appropriate intracellular levels of calcium is important for proper biological function and it has been shown that one of the actions of the neurotrophins is to modulate intracellular calcium levels in a number of in vivo and in vitro systems. Some information about the mechanism(s) by which this is accomplished is now available. Understanding the mechanisms of neurotrophin action should provide insights into the processes by which the brain functions and, further, provide therapeutic tools for the treatment of neuronal injury and neurodegenerative diseases.

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