Neurotrophins and their receptors in the skin: a tribute to Rita Levi-Montalcini

Neurotrophins and their receptors in the skin: a tribute to Rita Levi-Montalcini
Olle Johansson and Yong Liang ( Sweden )

The family of proteins named ne urotrophins and also their receptors play an important role in differentiation and survival of specific populations of neurons, including cutaneous nerves. Recent advance in neuroscience has shown that in addition to their neurotrophic actions, neurotrophins, particularly, nerve growth factor, mediate various immune and inflammatory responses. These functions are fulfilled by alterations in cytokine and neuropeptide production, through effects on neurotrophin receptor- bearing immune cells, notably, mast cells, lymphocytes, and macrophages. Within skin, different neurotrophins are synthesize and release primarily by keratinocytes, thus affecting cutaneous innervation, postinjury neural reconstruction, and nonneuronal cells, such as melanocytes, through a paracrine action. Involvement of neurotrophins and their receptors in the pathogenesis of certain skin diseases is also reviewed.
Biomed Rev 1999; 10:15-23.
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Received 19June 1999 and accepted 26 October 1999.

Correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Olle Johansson, The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. Tel: 46 87287096, Fax: 46 8 303904
E-mail: Olle.Johansson@neuro.ki.se

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