• astroglia;
  • cholinergic neurons;
  • brain trauma;
  • dopaminergic neurons;
  • gliomas;
  • Alzheimer's disease


The development and maintenance of the normal functional integrity of the mammalian central nervous system is under the influence of a number of growth and trophic factors. One such growth factor, epidermal growth factor, has been detected in the mammalian brain and found to be associated with various brain regions and cell types. This small ubiquitous polypeptide can influence the proliferation, Metabolism, and differentiation of both glia and neurons in the central nervous system. We discuss the effects of epidermal growth factor on glial and neuronal cell function in an attempt to understand its role in development and maintenance of normal brain integrity. In addition, we review its possible implications in several pathological states in the central nervous system and speculate on therapeutic applications for this growth factor. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.