Neuritogenesis and Regeneration in the Nervous System: An Overview of the Problem and on the Promoting Action of Gangliosides

  • Alfredo Gorio
  • Damir Janigro
  • Renzo Zanoni
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 174)


Promoting restoration of functions after injury to the nervous system is one of the major goals in neuroscience and in the whole field of medical research. Such an achievement is, however, quite difficult unless the basic mechanisms underlying neuronal plasticity, neuritogenesis, sprouting and regrowth of injured axons are better understood. Very few molecules have been shown experimentally to be active in promoting such processes; however careful examinations made at a later time showed that several results were misinterpretated due to the poor basic knowledge of the experimental model employed.1 A good example of the difficulties which can be encountered in this field is the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) story. As early as 30 years ago Rita Levi-Montalcini and co-workers showed that mouse sarcoma tumors, transplanted into the chorioallantoic membrane of chick embryos, induced a massive invasion of blood vessels and viscera by sympathetic nerve fibers. Such an interesting finding was further investigated and the active factor (NGF) of the mouse sarcoma purified.2 When large quantities of NGF became available an increasing number of laboratories began to investigate its action and the pioneering work of Rita Levi-Montalcini was broadened. It is known that NGF is a single protein which is capable of inducing neurite outgrowth and regeneration in several types of neurones in vitro and in vivo.2 Despite years of effort and the large number of scientists involved, the mode of action of NGF remains an open question. NGF stands as the first molecule isolated from animal tissue capable of promoting neurite growth and as an example of how difficult the challenge is.


Nerve Growth Factor Neurite Outgrowth Enhance Neurite Outgrowth Partial Denervation Cell BioI 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfredo Gorio
    • 1
  • Damir Janigro
    • 1
  • Renzo Zanoni
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of CytopharmacologyFidia Research LaboratoriesAbano TermeItaly

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