Research Topic

Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Neurotrophin Function in the Nervous System

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The neurotrophins are a family of proteins that regulate development, maintenance, and function of vertebrate nervous systems. They serve as survival factors to ensure a match between the number of surviving neurons and the requirement for appropriate target innervation and also regulate cell fate decisions, ...

The neurotrophins are a family of proteins that regulate development, maintenance, and function of vertebrate nervous systems. They serve as survival factors to ensure a match between the number of surviving neurons and the requirement for appropriate target innervation and also regulate cell fate decisions, axon growth, dendrite pruning, the patterning of innervation and the expression of proteins crucial for normal neuronal function, such as neurotransmitters and ion channels.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve-growth factor (NGF) and the neurotrophins 3 and 4 (NT3, NT4) and their precursors (pro-neurotrophins) are not only expressed during development, but also in the postnatal brain. The neurotrophins signal through specific tyrosine kinase receptor (trkA, trkB, trk C) and the low affinity receptor p75NTR. Moreover, the pro-neurotrophins are discussed to be biologically active by signalling through specific receptors.

Importantly, neurotrophins also have important functions in the mature nervous system, like in controlling synaptic function and synaptic plasticity, while continuing to modulate neuronal survival. Some of them are important for learning and memory and are disregulated in the pathological brain. Finally, rapid actions of neurotrophins on synaptic efficacy, as well as the regulation of their mRNAs by electrical activity, suggest that neurotrophins might play important roles in regulating neuronal connectivity both in the developing and in the adult central nervous system.

This Research Topic will explore neurotrophin functions in the developing and adult peripheral and central nervous system. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

-Functional role of neurotrophins and neurotrophin receptor in the adult and aged brain
-Participation of neurotrophins and neurotrophin receptor in regulating neuronal morphology
-Neurotrophin signalling pathways in plasticity and learning and memory
-Function of neurotrophins and neurotrophin receptor in synaptic functions
-Neurotrophins and adult neurogenesis
-Neurotrophins and psychiatric disorders
-Neurotrophins and neurodegeneration
-Involvement of neurotrophins and their receptors in central and peripheral nervous system regeneration

We welcome Orignal Research articles, Review articles and Opinions.


Keywords: Neurotrophin, Pro-neurotrophin, neurotrophin receptors, development, synaptic plasticity


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