The discovery of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the early 1950s was a landmark in developmental neurobiology. Extending earlier observations (Buecker 1948) that the dorsal root ganglia of a chick embryo grew neurites into a mouse sarcoma 1 80 implanted on the chick body wall, Levi-MontalÂ cini & Hamburger (195 1, 1953) showed that sympathetic ganglia also parÂ ticipated in the nerve ingrowth to the tumor and demonstrated that the effects were due to a specific growth factor produced by the sarcoma. Levi-Montalcini ( l 975a) has written an interesting account of this early work, and her own highly original, insightful, and continuing work on NGF is discussed at length here and in the reviews listed at the end of this section. Although a great deal has been learned about the biological processes in which NGF is involved and about the growth factor itself, and at least a start has been made toward understanding the mechanisms by which NGF acts, not all of the functions of NGF have yet been clearly defined. It is 0147-006X/80/0301-0353$01 .00 GREENE & SHOOTER beyond the scope of this review to go into great detail about these functions; nevertheless a brief review is
Annual Review of Neuroscience – Annual Reviews
Published: Mar 1, 1980
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