Neurotrophins and brain insults

Trends Neurosci. 1994 Nov;17(11):490-6. doi: 10.1016/0166-2236(94)90139-2.


Epileptic, hypoglycaemic, ischaemic and traumatic insults to the brain induce marked changes of gene expression for the neurotrophins, nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3, and their high-affinity receptors, TrkB and TrkC, in cortical and hippocampal neurones. Release of glutamate and influx of Ca2+ are the most important triggering factors. The major hypotheses for the functional effects of the insult-induced neurotrophin changes are protection against neuronal damage and stimulation of sprouting and synaptic reorganization. More insight into the regulation and role of the neurotrophins after brain insults should increase our understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms in, for example, epileptogenesis and cell death, and could lead to new therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain Diseases / etiology*
  • Brain Diseases / genetics
  • Brain Diseases / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes
  • Humans
  • Nerve Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism


  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases