Nerve growth factor (NGF) is the firstly discovered and best characterized neurotrophic
factor, known to play a critical protective role in the development and survival of sympathetic,
sensory and forebrain cholinergic neurons. NGF promotes neuritis outgrowth both in vivo and in vitro
and nerve cell recovery after ischemic, surgical or chemical injuries. Recently, the therapeutic
property of NGF has been demonstrated on human cutaneous and corneal ulcers, pressure ulcer,
glaucoma, maculopathy and retinitis pigmentosa. NGF eye drops administration is well tolerated, with
no detectable clinical evidence of systemic or local adverse effects. The aim of this review is to
summarize these biological properties and the potential clinical development of NGF.