Regulation of synaptic function by neurotrophic factors in vertebrates and invertebrates: Implications for development and learning

Sharen E. McKay, Angela L. Purcell, Thomas J. Carew

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Recent studies have demonstrated that neurotrophic factors contribute to the molecular events involved in synaptic plasticity, both during vertebrate development and in the mature nervous system. Although it is well established that many of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity are conserved between invertebrates and vertebrates, there are, as yet, very few neurotrophic factors identified in invertebrate species. Nonetheless, vertebrate neurotrophins can influence invertebrate neuronal growth and plasticity. In addition, homologs of neurotrophic factor receptors have been identified in several invertebrate species. These studies may indicate that the roles of neurotrophins in both developmental and adult plasticity are highly conserved across diverse phyla.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-215
Number of pages23
JournalLearning and Memory
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 16 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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