Medycyna Wet. 64 (4b), 520-524, 2008
Jana B., Kozłowska A.
Nerve growth factor – its expression and participation in the functioning of reproductive organs in females
The nerve growth factor (NGF) is a polypeptide belonging to the family of trophic factors, influencing not only the population of neurons of both the central and peripheral nervous system, but also cells of the immunological and endocrine systems. The expression of NGF and/or its two types of membrane receptors (NTRK1 and TFRSF1B) was found in cells of ovaries, uterus, oviduct, fetal membranes and placenta. NGF is an important element of the regulation of the ovary functioning in sexually immature and mature females. NGF contributes to the development of the innervation of ovarian structures, stimulates proliferation of steroidogenic cells and synthesis of steroids, as well as participates in the maturation of oocytes and in ovulatory process. Moreover, NGF and neurotransmitters released by adrenergic fibres can play an important role in the formation and/or the course of polycystic ovary syndrome. During the estrous cycle, besides pregnancy NGF stimulates proliferation of uterine cells which lead to the increase of the mass of the uterus. Decreased in the middle and late period of the pregnancy, the expression of this factor in the uterus contributes to neurodegenerative changes whose effect is the reduction of contractions of the uterus. In turn the augmentation of NGF production after parturition leads to the restoration of innervation in this organ. The implication of NGF and its receptors in the functioning of the oviduct, fetal membranes and placenta has not yet been recognized.
Keywords: NGF, its receptors, ovary, uterus, oviduct