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Neurodegenerative diseases are devastating medical conditions with no effective treatments. Restoration of impaired neurogenesis represents a promising therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases. Milk fat globule-epidermal growth factor-factor VIII (MFG-E8) is a secretory glycoprotein that plays a wide range of cellular functions including phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, anti-inflammation, tissue regeneration, and homeostasis. The beneficial role of MFG-E8 has been shown in cerebral ischemia (stroke), neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and traumatic brain injury. In stroke, MFG-E8 promotes neural stem cell proliferation and their migration toward the ischemic brain tissues. These novel functions of MFG-E8 are primarily mediated through its receptor αvβ3-integrin. Here, we focus on the pivotal role of MFG-E8 in protecting against neuronal diseases by promoting neurogenesis. We also discuss the mechanisms of MFG-E8-mediated neural stem/progenitor cell (NSPC) proliferation and migration, and the potential of MFG-E8 for neural stem cell niche maintenance via angiogenesis. We propose further investigation of the molecular pathways for MFG-E8 signaling in NSPC and effective strategies for MFG-E8 delivery across the blood–brain barrier, which will help develop MFG-E8 as a future drug candidate for the bedside management of neurodegenerative diseases.

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Cheyuo, C., Aziz, M., & Wang, P. (2019). Neurogenesis in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Role of MFG-E8. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 13.


© 2019 Cheyuo, Aziz and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.



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