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Muscle Nerve. 2006 Apr;33(4):462-76.

The role of neurotrophins in muscle under physiological and pathological conditions.

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Department of Neuroimmunology, Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany.


This review summarizes the various effects of neurotrophins in skeletal muscle and how these proteins act as potential regulators of development, maintenance, function, and regeneration of skeletal muscle fibers. Increasing evidence suggests that this family of neurotrophic factors not only modulates survival and function of innervating motoneurons and proprioceptive neurons but also development and differentiation of myoblasts and muscle fibers. Neurotrophins and neurotrophin receptors play a role in the coordination of muscle innervation and functional differentiation of neuromuscular junctions. However, neurotrophin receptors are also expressed in differentiating muscle cells, in particular at early developmental stages in myoblasts before they fuse. In adults with pathological conditions such as human degenerative and inflammatory muscle disorders, variations of neurotrophin expression are found, but the role of neurotrophins under such conditions is still not clear. The goal of this review is to provide a basis for a better understanding and future studies on the role of these factors under such pathological conditions and for treatment of human muscle diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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