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Current Neuropharmacology


ISSN (Print): 1570-159X
ISSN (Online): 1875-6190

Review Article

Nerve Growth Factor in Alcohol Use Disorders

Author(s): Flavio Maria Ceci, Giampiero Ferraguti, Carla Petrella, Antonio Greco, Massimo Ralli, Angela Iannitelli, Valentina Carito, Paola Tirassa, George N. Chaldakov, Marisa Patrizia Messina, Mauro Ceccanti and Marco Fiore*

Volume 19, Issue 1, 2021

Published on: 28 April, 2020

Page: [45 - 60] Pages: 16

DOI: 10.2174/1570159X18666200429003239

Price: $65


The nerve growth factor (NGF) belongs to the family of neurotrophic factors. Initially discovered as a signaling molecule involved in the survival, protection, differentiation, and proliferation of sympathetic and peripheral sensory neurons, it also participates in the regulation of the immune system and endocrine system. NGF biological activity is due to the binding of two classes of receptors: the tropomyosin-related kinase A (TrkA) and the low-affinity NGF pan-neurotrophin receptor p75. Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD) are one of the most frequent mental disorders in developed countries, characterized by heavy drinking, despite the negative effects of alcohol on brain development and cognitive functions that cause individual’s work, medical, legal, educational, and social life problems. In addition, alcohol consumption during pregnancy disrupts the development of the fetal brain causing a wide range of neurobehavioral outcomes collectively known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The rationale of this review is to describe crucial findings on the role of NGF in humans and animals, when exposed to prenatal, chronic alcohol consumption, and on binge drinking.

Keywords: NGF, alcohol use disorders, binge drinking, chronic alcohol consumption, addiction, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

Graphical Abstract
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