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Targeting Neurotrophins to Specific Populations of Neurons: NGF, BDNF, and NT-3 and Their Relevance for Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury

Shriners Hospital’s Pediatric Research Center (Center for Neural Repair and Rehabilitation), Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, 6th Floor Medical Education & Research Building, 3500 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140-4106, USA
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Margaret Fahnestock and Keri Martinowich
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18030548
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurotrophic Factors—Historical Perspective and New Directions)
Neurotrophins are a family of proteins that regulate neuronal survival, synaptic function, and neurotransmitter release, and elicit the plasticity and growth of axons within the adult central and peripheral nervous system. Since the 1950s, these factors have been extensively studied in traumatic injury models. Here we review several members of the classical family of neurotrophins, the receptors they bind to, and their contribution to axonal regeneration and sprouting of sensory and motor pathways after spinal cord injury (SCI). We focus on nerve growth factor (NGF), brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and their effects on populations of neurons within diverse spinal tracts. Understanding the cellular targets of neurotrophins and the responsiveness of specific neuronal populations will allow for the most efficient treatment strategies in the injured spinal cord. View Full-Text
Keywords: spinal cord injury; neurotrophic factors; nerve growth factor; brain-derived neurotrophic factor; neurotrophin-3; neuroprotection; plasticity; regeneration spinal cord injury; neurotrophic factors; nerve growth factor; brain-derived neurotrophic factor; neurotrophin-3; neuroprotection; plasticity; regeneration
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Keefe, K.M.; Sheikh, I.S.; Smith, G.M. Targeting Neurotrophins to Specific Populations of Neurons: NGF, BDNF, and NT-3 and Their Relevance for Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 548.

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