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The Neuroprotective Functions of Transforming Growth Factor Beta Proteins

Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Semmelweis University, Tuzolto u. 58, Budapest H-1094, Hungary
Neuromorphological and Neuroendocrine Research Laboratory, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1025 Budapest, Hungary
Department of Neurology, Semmelweis University, Balassa u. 6, Budapest H-1083, Hungary
Department of Neurology, Jahn Ferenc Teaching Hospital, Köves u. 2-4, Budapest H-1204, Hungary
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(7), 8219-8258;
Received: 9 May 2012 / Revised: 24 May 2012 / Accepted: 19 June 2012 / Published: 3 July 2012
PDF [390 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) proteins are multifunctional cytokines whose neural functions are increasingly recognized. The machinery of TGF-β signaling, including the serine kinase type transmembrane receptors, is present in the central nervous system. However, the 3 mammalian TGF-β subtypes have distinct distributions in the brain suggesting different neural functions. Evidence of their involvement in the development and plasticity of the nervous system as well as their functions in peripheral organs suggested that they also exhibit neuroprotective functions. Indeed, TGF-β expression is induced following a variety of types of brain tissue injury. The neuroprotective function of TGF-βs is most established following brain ischemia. Damage in experimental animal models of global and focal ischemia was shown to be attenuated by TGF-βs. In addition, support for their neuroprotective actions following trauma, sclerosis multiplex, neurodegenerative diseases, infections, and brain tumors is also accumulating. The review will also describe the potential mechanisms of neuroprotection exerted by TGF-βs including anti-inflammatory, -apoptotic, -excitotoxic actions as well as the promotion of scar formation, angiogenesis, and neuroregeneration. The participation of these mechanisms in the neuroprotective effects of TGF-βs during different brain lesions will also be discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: TGF-β; stroke; lesion; brain injury; neurodegeneration; neuroprotection TGF-β; stroke; lesion; brain injury; neurodegeneration; neuroprotection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Dobolyi, A.; Vincze, C.; Pál, G.; Lovas, G. The Neuroprotective Functions of Transforming Growth Factor Beta Proteins. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 8219-8258.

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