brain-derived neurotrophic factor
(Science: growth factor) small basic protein purified from pig brain, a member of the family of neurotrophic factors that also includes the nerve growth factor and neurotrophin 3.
In contrast to the nerve growth factor, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor is predominantly (though not exclusively) localized in the CNS. It supports the survival of primary sensory neurons originating from the neural crest and ectodermal placodes that are not responsive to NGF. In the brain, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor has a trophic action on retinal, cholinergic, and dopaminergic neurons, and in the peripheral nervous system, it acts on both motor and sensory neurons.