Nerve Growth Factor and Pain Mechanisms

Annu Rev Neurosci. 2017 Jul 25:40:307-325. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-072116-031121. Epub 2017 Apr 24.


Nerve growth factor (NGF) antagonism is on the verge of becoming a powerful analgesic treatment for numerous conditions, including osteoarthritis and lower back pain. This review summarizes the historical research, both fundamental and clinical, that led to our current understanding of NGF biology. We also discuss the surprising number of questions that remain about NGF expression patterns and NGF's various functions and interaction partners in relation to persistent pain and the potential side effects of anti-NGF therapy.

Keywords: chronic pain; nerve growth factor; p75; trkA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Pain / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nerve Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Pain / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Nerve Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Receptor, trkA / metabolism*


  • Receptor, Nerve Growth Factor
  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • Receptor, trkA