alexa Trophic factors as modulators of motor neuron physiology and survival: implications for ALS therapy.


Neurochemistry & Neuropharmacology

Author(s): TovarYRomo LB, RamrezJarqun UN, LazoGmez R, Tapia R

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Abstract Motor neuron physiology and development depend on a continuous and tightly regulated trophic support from a variety of cellular sources. Trophic factors guide the generation and positioning of motor neurons during every stage of the developmental process. As well, they are involved in axon guidance and synapse formation. Even in the adult spinal cord an uninterrupted trophic input is required to maintain neuronal functioning and protection from noxious stimuli. Among the trophic factors that have been demonstrated to participate in motor neuron physiology are vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Upon binding to membrane receptors expressed in motor neurons or neighboring glia, these trophic factors activate intracellular signaling pathways that promote cell survival and have protective action on motor neurons, in both in vivo and in vitro models of neuronal degeneration. For these reasons these factors have been considered a promising therapeutic method for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative diseases, although their efficacy in human clinical trials have not yet shown the expected protection. In this minireview we summarize experimental data on the role of these trophic factors in motor neuron function and survival, as well as their mechanisms of action. We also briefly discuss the potential therapeutic use of the trophic factors and why these therapies may have not been yet successful in the clinical use.
This article was published in Front Cell Neurosci and referenced in Neurochemistry & Neuropharmacology

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