The role of epidermal growth factor and its receptors in mammalian CNS

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. Apr-Jun 2004;15(2-3):147-56. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2004.01.004.


Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a common mitogenic factor that stimulates the proliferation of different types of cells, especially fibroblasts and epithelial cells. EGF activates the EGF receptor (EGFR/ErbB), which initiates, in turn, intracellular signaling. EGFR family is also expressed in neurons of the hippocampus, cerebellum, and cerebral cortex in addition to other regions of the central nervous system (CNS). EGF enhances the differentiation, maturation and survival of a variety of neurons. Transgenic mice lacking the EGFR developed neurodegenerative disease and die within the first month of birth. EGF acts not only on mitotic cells but also on postmitotic neurons, and many studies have indicated that EGF has neuromodulatory effect on various types of neurons in the CNS. This review highlights some of the major recent findings pertinent to the EGF and ErbB family with special references to elucidating their roles in the regulation of neurogenesis, signal transduction and trafficking and degradation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System / growth & development
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Mammals
  • Protein Transport
  • Signal Transduction


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Carrier Proteins
  • ERBIN protein, human
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • ErbB Receptors