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Int J Dev Neurosci. 1997 Oct;15(6):703-10.

Effect of a long-term nerve growth factor treatment on body weight, blood pressure, and serum corticosterone in rats.

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Department of Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, 77555-0652, USA.


Nerve growth factor is a well-characterized neurotrophin essential for the development and maintenance of certain central and peripheral neurons. As many neurons affected by aging depend for their survival on a constant supply of neurotrophins, nerve growth factor has been proposed as a possible treatment to prevent aging-associated neurodegeneration. There is evidence that nerve growth factor also plays a role in the immune system and modulates certain aspects of endocrine function. Here we have determined the effects of prolonged peripheral (intraperitoneal) treatment with nerve growth factor on body weight, blood pressure, and serum corticosterone levels in the rat. Our data indicate that intraperitoneally-injected nerve growth factor can affect body weight gain in rats. This effect may not be mediated by nerve growth factor-induced increases in serum corticosterone levels, as exogenous administration of corticosterone did not result in a similar body weight loss. These results show that, as previously reported for intracerebroventricular treatment with nerve growth factor, intraperitoneally-injected nerve growth factor also reduces body weight gain in rats. The data also suggest that exogenous delivery of nerve growth factor as part of therapeutic regimens is likely to have several effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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