Stimulation of neurotrophin synthesis by 4-methylcatechol: a promising approach for neuroprotection

Stimulation of neurotrophin synthesis by 4-methylcatechol: a promising approach for neuroprotection
Shoei Furukawa, Atsumi Nitta, and Yoshiko Furukawa ( Japan )

Neurotrophins play a crucial role in the differentiation, maintenance, and survival of various types of peripheral and central neurons. However, the therapeutic use of neurotrophins is limited by their inability to cross the blood-brain barrier and their instability in the bloodstream. One of the promising approaches to utilize neurotrophic actions of these molecules in the therapy of neurodegenerative diseases is the stimulation of neurotrophin synthesis. Here we review the effects of 4-methylcatechol, a nonadrenergic catechol compound, on the synthesis of the neurotrophins nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the peripheral and central nervous system. The neuroprotective potential of 4-methylcatechol in animal models of neurodegenerative disorders is discussed, and other agents that enhance neurotrophin synthesis are also mentioned.
BiomedRev 1999; 10: 45-54.
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Received 5 October 1999 and accepted 1 December 1999.

Correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Shoei Furukawa. Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Mitahora-higashi, Gifu502-8585, Japan
E-mail: furukawa@gifu-pu.ac.jp

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