Nerve growth factor accelerates seizure development, enhances mossy fiber sprouting, and attenuates seizure-induced decreases in neuronal density in the kindling model of epilepsy.
The neurotrophin family of survival factors is distinguished by a unique receptor-signaling system that is composed of two transmembrane receptor proteins. Nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and NT-4/5 share similar protein structures and biological functions and interact with two different types of cell-surface proteins, the Trk family of receptor tyrosine kinases, and the p75, or low-affinity neurotrophin receptor. An important question is whether a dual receptor system is necessary for neurotrophin action. Evidence indicates that co-expression of the two genes for the p75 receptor and the Trk NGF receptor can potentially lead to greater responsiveness to NGF, and suggests additional levels of regulation for the family of neurotrophin factors.