Specific cytokines & growth factors in… neurobiology!

Growth Factors & cytokines

Neurobiology is the study of cells of the nervous system and their organization into functional circuits that process information and mediate behavior.

Neurotrophic factors

Neurotrophic factors are proteins which are very important for the brain: secreted by neurons themselves, by their territory of innervation, or by extraneuronal cells. They adjust the growth, proliferation and differentiation of nerve cells and are as such essential in the development of the nervous system in general, as well as in the preservation of cerebral functions.


Neurotrophins are a family of proteins that induce survival, development and function of neurons.

  • Nerve growth factor: a protein secreted by a neuron’s target cell (Murine beta-NGF, Human beta-NGF)
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor: a neurotrophic factor found originally in the brain, but also found in the periphery (Human BDNF)
  • Neurotrophins: proteins that induce the survival, development and function of neurons (NT-3, NT-4)

TGF-β (Transforming growth factor β2 )

Transforming growth factor-beta 2 (TGF-β2) is a secreted protein known as a cytokine that performs many cellular functions and has a vital role during embryonic development .

  • Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor: a small protein that potently promotes the survival of many types of neurons (Human GDNF, Murine GDNF, Rat GDNF)
  • Neurturin: a ligand used to bind to GFRA2 receptors. It is related to Glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor
  • Artemin: protein that is encoded by the ARTNgene
  • Perseptin: a neurotrophic protein which plays a key role in the development of the central nervous system


Midkine is a bioactive protein involved in a number of biological processes including the migration of neutrophils, inflammatory leukocytes and macrophages, neuronal cells, and osteoclasts (Human Midkine, Murine Midkine, Human Pleiotrophin).

Any doubt about the best factors for your research?

There’s a vast offer of cytokines available, finding the right ones (and the best quality ones) can be made easier by calling in some expert advice. tebu-bio’s teams are always happy to answer any questions and offer advice.


Written by Elodie Monin
Elodie is the former Community Manager at tebu-bio.