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Figure 2 | Journal of Translational Medicine

Figure 2

From: Nerve growth factor: from the early discoveries to the potential clinical use

Figure 2

The huge amount of research data produced since its discovery in the 1950s, first characterized the physiological role of the neurotrophin NGF in the regulation of development and phenotypic maintenance of peripheral nervous system (PNS) . A similar role for central cholinergic neurons was described starting from the 1980s, while more recently NGF has been characterized as a survival, differentiative and trophic factors also for cells belonging to the immune system and the epithelial lineage. Basic and translational research based on such described NGF activities have then explored the possibility to develop NGF-based pharmacotherapies for peripheral neuropathies, brain degenerative and traumatic diseases, several kinds of epithelial derangements. A possible, yet unexplored field for clinical development of NGF as a drug, is based on its activity as immune-regulator, possibly involved in autoimmune and chronic inflammatory pathologies.

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