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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 386; doi:10.3390/ijms18020386

The Role of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Its Precursor Forms in Oral Wound Healing

1
Department of Oral Biology, Dental Faculty, University of Oslo, PB 1052 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway
2
Department of Dentistry, Jikei University School of Medicine 3-25-8, Nishi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Margaret Fahnestock and Keri Martinowich
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 11 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurotrophic Factors—Historical Perspective and New Directions)
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Abstract

Nerve growth factor (NGF) and its different precursor forms are secreted into human saliva by salivary glands and are also produced by an array of cells in the tissues of the oral cavity. The major forms of NGF in human saliva are forms of pro-nerve growth factor (pro-NGF) and not mature NGF. The NGF receptors tropomyosin-related kinase A (TrkA) and p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) are widely expressed on cells in the soft tissues of the human oral cavity, including keratinocytes, endothelial cells, fibroblasts and leukocytes, and in ductal and acinar cells of all types of salivary glands. In vitro models show that NGF can contribute at most stages in the oral wound healing process: restitution, cell survival, apoptosis, cellular proliferation, inflammation, angiogenesis and tissue remodeling. NGF may therefore take part in the effective wound healing in the oral cavity that occurs with little scarring. As pro-NGF forms appear to be the major form of NGF in human saliva, efforts should be made to study its function, specifically in the process of wound healing. In addition, animal and clinical studies should be initiated to examine if topical application of pro-NGF or NGF can be a therapy for chronic oral ulcerations and wounds. View Full-Text
Keywords: saliva; salivary gland; keratinocytes; oral cavity saliva; salivary gland; keratinocytes; oral cavity
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Schenck, K.; Schreurs, O.; Hayashi, K.; Helgeland, K. The Role of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Its Precursor Forms in Oral Wound Healing. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 386.

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