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Neurons are specialized cells with a complex morphology that represent the functional unit of the nervous system. They are generated in remarkable numbers, particularly in higher vertebrates. In the human brain, for example, there may be ∼85 billion neurons (Williams and Herrup 1988). There is little cell division in the adult nervous system of vertebrates,(More)
During development, neuronal survival is regulated by the limited availability of neurotrophins, which are proteins of the nerve growth factor (NGF) family. Activation of specific trk tyrosine kinase receptors by the neurotrophins blocks programmed cell death. The trkA-specific ligand NGF has also been shown to activate the non-tyrosine kinase receptor p75,(More)
The survival and functional maintenance of vertebrate neurons critically depends on the availability of specific neurotrophic factors. So far, only two such factors, nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been characterized and shown to have the typical features of secretory proteins. This characterization has been(More)
Nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) selectively bind to distinct members of the Trk family of tyrosine kinase receptors, but all three bind with similar affinities to the neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75NTR). The biological significance of neurotrophin binding to p75NTR in cells that also express Trk(More)
We report the purification from pig brain of a factor supporting the survival of, and fibre outgrowth from, cultured embryonic chick sensory neurons. The purified factor migrates as one single band, mol. wt. 12 300, on gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecylsulphate (SDS) and is a basic molecule (pI greater than or equal to 10.1).(More)
The number of neurotrophic factors found in the central nervous system is rapidly growing, but their functions in vivo are largely unknown. In the peripheral nervous system they promote the survival of developing and lesioned neurons and enhance nerve fibre growth and regeneration. Here we study the effects of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived(More)
The neurotrophins are a small group of dimeric proteins that profoundly affect the development of the nervous system of vertebrates. Recent studies have established clear correlations between the survival requirements for different neurotrophins of functionally distinct subsets of sensory neurons. The biological role of the neurotrophins is not limited to(More)
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), present in minute amounts in the adult central nervous system, is a member of the nerve growth factor (NGF) family, which includes neurotrophin-3 (NT-3). NGF, BDNF and NT-3 all support survival of subpopulations of neural crest-derived sensory neurons; most sympathetic neurons are responsive to NGF, but not to BDNF;(More)
During the development of the vertebrate nervous system, many neurons depend for survival on interactions with their target cells. Specific proteins are thought to be released by the target cells and to play an essential role in these interactions. So far, only one such protein, nerve growth factor, has been fully characterized. This has been possible(More)