The book highlights different aspects of current understanding of neurotrophin-receptor signal transduction pathways, including the signaling endosome hypothesis. Findings on the synaptotrophic potential of NGF and related neurotrophins, neurotrophin involvement in neuronal stem cell biology, biological activity of the NGF precursor proNGF, and nociception- and antinociception-associated activity of NGF and/or BDNF are also presented and discussed.
Several chapters deal with the involvement of various neurotrophins in the control of different nonneuronal processes, such as immune, inflammatory and allergic reactions, tissue repair and wound healing. The findings showed that neurotrophins play important roles in the pathobiology of a surprising variety of seemingly unrelated non-neurological diseases, including bronchial asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, hair growth disorders, psoriasis, corneal and skin ulcers, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, crush syndrome, and Behçet's disease. There are also chapters on the involvement of NGF and related molecules in neurological diseases, including Huntington's disease, the multiple sclerosis-like model of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, peripheral neuropathies, neuroblastoma, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and even motion sickness syndrome, also psychiatric disorders, including depression and schizophrenia. Finally, potential important therapeutic benefits are presented, for diabetic neuropathy, gastrointestinal dysmotility, CNS neurodegenerative disease, spinal cord injuries, cutaneous and corneal ulcers, as well as peripheral ischemic vasculopathy.