NGF, BDNF, NT3, and NT4

Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2014;220:3-15. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-45106-5_1.


The discovery of nerve growth factor (NGF) was a seminal event in history of research in developmental neurobiology. The further discovery that NGF was just one of a family of structurally similar growth factors, neurotrophins, provided important insights into the way nerve cells communicate, during development of the nervous system, and in neuroplasticity, memory, and learning in the adult nervous system. Four neurotrophins, NGF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT3), and neurotrophin-4 (NT4), regulate a wide variety of neural functions, acting upon p75NTR, TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC receptors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / physiology
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Humans
  • Nerve Growth Factor / physiology
  • Nerve Growth Factors / chemistry
  • Nerve Growth Factors / genetics
  • Nerve Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Neurotrophin 3 / physiology


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Neurotrophin 3
  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • neurotrophin 4