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Journal of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology

Print version ISSN 1676-2649


KANDRATAVICIUS, Ludmyla; MONTEIRO, Mariana Raquel; SILVA, Raquel Araujo do Val-da  and  LEITE, João Pereira. Neurotrophins in temporal lobe epilepsy. J. epilepsy clin. neurophysiol. [online]. 2010, vol.16, n.1, pp.7-12. ISSN 1676-2649.

INTRODUCTION: NGF, BDNF, NT-3 and NT-4 are the major neurotrophins in the mammal central nervous system. These proteins play key roles in development of the nervous system, but they are also responsible for important functions in the adult brain, such as trophic support of adult neurons, cell plasticity and death. The neurotrophins activate three different members of the tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) family of receptor tyrosine kinases. These three receptors exhibit distinct affinities for different neurotrophins, with NGF activating TrkA, BDNF and NT-4 activating TrkB, and NT-3 predominantly activating TrkC. All NTs can also interact with the receptor p75NTR, a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily. RESULTS: NTs have a key role also in the neuronal plasticity related to epilepsy, and they are able to act as epileptogenic factors and anti-epileptogenic endogenous factors. Besides that, several studies have shown that status epilepticus and chronic seizures may alter gene and protein expression of these factors. CONCLUSION: Here, we briefly give a short review of current knowledge of the roles and expression of the major neurotrophins in the hippocampus, with emphasis to the changes that occur in animal models of epilepsy. The knowledge on how the mechanisms underlying the multiplicity of biological functions in which the neurotrophins take part may provide us key insights into the cellular mechanisms of neuronal function in health and disease.

Keywords : Temporal lobe epilepsy; neurotrophins; neurotrophin receptors.

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