Definition of nerve growth factor in US English:

nerve growth factor


  • 1A polypeptide consisting in its active form of two identical chains of 120 amino acids, which is produced normally by neurons, Schwann cells, glial cells, and various types of epithelial and connective tissue cells, and promotes the growth of (especially sensory and sympathetic) neurons and neurites, and also has certain modulatory effects on the immune system (abbreviated NGF).

  • 2Any of various other polypeptides that promote the growth and maintenance of neurons.


1950s; earliest use found in Science.