NGF: not just for neurons.



Nerve growth factor (NFF) is the prototypic member of a family of related neurotrophins (Nts). Although originally defined by its actions in the peripheral and central nervous systems, recent data indicate the presence of extensive interactions between NGF and the endocrine and immune systems steroid hormones are able to modulate the neurosomal expression of NGF, while functional NGF receptors have been detected on cells of the immune system, and increased levels of NGF protein are found during the acute phase of diseases with a significant inflammatory component. These wider functions are likely to be of concern in any attempted therapeutic use of NGF.