Neurotrophins

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Also known as neurotrophic factors, neurotrophins are a family of related polypeptides (proteins) which induce the survival, development, and function of neurons. Produced by the nervous system, neurotrophins are critical to neuronal growth, regeneration, survival, and differentiation.

The human being nervous system produces and use four types of neurotrophins: nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4). High affinity receptors expressed on the surface of responsive neurons mediate the biological activity of these factors.