The p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) is a transmembrane protein that binds nerve growth factor (NGF) and has multiple functions in the nervous system where it is expressed widely during the developmental stages of life, although expression decreases dramatically by adulthood. Expression of p75NTR can increase in pathological states related to neural cell death. p75NTR is a member of the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family and it consists of intracellular, transmembrane and extracellular domains which are different from other TNF receptors. Either by interacting with tropomyosin receptor kinase (Trk) receptors or via the independent binding of neurotrophin, p75NTR can induce neurite outgrowth and cellular survival or cell apoptosis through several complicated signal transduction pathways. Most of these signalling pathways remain to be elucidated. By interacting with different cellular factors, p75NTR can induce neuron growth cone collapse or regrowth. p75NTR is also expressed in a variety of glial populations. The many functions of p75NTR require further study.