Research Topic

Developmental and Regenerative Effects of Trophic Factors to Non-Neuronal Cells and Tissue

About this Research Topic

Trophic factors are best known for their important functions in nervous system development and physiology. This diverse group of signaling molecules carries out tremendous diversity of functions also outside the nervous system including guidance of development of several internal organs, regulation of specific stem and progenitor cell populations, control of metabolic fitness, reproduction and inflammation, and disease mechanisms such as cancer. On the other hand, in the nervous system they been shown to have effects on non-neuronal cells. For example, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) critically regulates kidney induction but its functions during renal differentiation are only about to be elucidated. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on the other hand is an important regulator of cardiac endothelium formation but whether it has physiological relevance for cardiac diseases is to be determined. Potential clinical importance of findings related to GDNF and spermatogonial stem cell self-renewal as well as ovarian follicle development are currently under active research and recent discoveries on trophic factors, such that growth/differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) has significant regulatory role in metabolism, open completely new therapeutic avenues for these molecules. Moreover, mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) being essential for pancreas differentiation shows unexpected potential in the control of current pandemic prevalence of diabetes, and in the mouse retina it has been suggested to mediate polarization of microglial cells. Also, the finding of GDNF to support dopamine neurons was fostered by earlier studies on regenerative effects of conditioned media from astrocytes.

Here we aim to review a wide range of non-neuronal functions of trophic factors. The overall layout is expected to give introductory overview to trophic factors, their action and signaling pathways activated upon ligand-receptor interaction. This is followed by thematic focus areas covering urogenital system, reproduction, metabolism and cancer. By this way the current research topic will advance holistic understanding of not only trophic factors but also function of the body as one entity.


Keywords: neurotrophic factor signaling, development, metabolism, cancer, immunology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Trophic factors are best known for their important functions in nervous system development and physiology. This diverse group of signaling molecules carries out tremendous diversity of functions also outside the nervous system including guidance of development of several internal organs, regulation of specific stem and progenitor cell populations, control of metabolic fitness, reproduction and inflammation, and disease mechanisms such as cancer. On the other hand, in the nervous system they been shown to have effects on non-neuronal cells. For example, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) critically regulates kidney induction but its functions during renal differentiation are only about to be elucidated. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on the other hand is an important regulator of cardiac endothelium formation but whether it has physiological relevance for cardiac diseases is to be determined. Potential clinical importance of findings related to GDNF and spermatogonial stem cell self-renewal as well as ovarian follicle development are currently under active research and recent discoveries on trophic factors, such that growth/differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) has significant regulatory role in metabolism, open completely new therapeutic avenues for these molecules. Moreover, mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) being essential for pancreas differentiation shows unexpected potential in the control of current pandemic prevalence of diabetes, and in the mouse retina it has been suggested to mediate polarization of microglial cells. Also, the finding of GDNF to support dopamine neurons was fostered by earlier studies on regenerative effects of conditioned media from astrocytes.

Here we aim to review a wide range of non-neuronal functions of trophic factors. The overall layout is expected to give introductory overview to trophic factors, their action and signaling pathways activated upon ligand-receptor interaction. This is followed by thematic focus areas covering urogenital system, reproduction, metabolism and cancer. By this way the current research topic will advance holistic understanding of not only trophic factors but also function of the body as one entity.


Keywords: neurotrophic factor signaling, development, metabolism, cancer, immunology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 February 2018 Abstract
30 June 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 February 2018 Abstract
30 June 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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