Apart from their established role in embryonic development Nerve Growth Factors (NGFs) have diverse functions in the nervous system. Their role in integration of physiological functioning of the nervous system is now attracting attention. In the present analysis, we propose a new paradigm about a novel role of NGFs. We hypothesize that NGFs play imperative role in maintaining psychological integrity of an individual as a biological system. This function may be mediated through HPA-axis- operated homeostatic mechanisms; stress induced disruption of which may lead to psychiatric disorders. Current literature suggests existence of constitutive homeostatic regulatory mechanisms for NGFs disruption which may lead to important behavioural effects. NGFs have been shown to play crucial parts in endocrine regulation. This is especially true with the prototype ‘NGF’ and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). These moieties have been observed to play important role in maintaining neuro-endocrine homeostasis thereby having a profound impact on the psychological health of an individual. Role of NGFs and HPA-axis activation (in separate studies) in developing psychiatric disorders - especially those born of stress - have been established. Literature suggests their unique interplay for producing a common effect which might be implicated in stress induced genesis of psychiatric disorders. This aspect, therefore, needs to be elucidated further as a disease etiogenesis model. This model may yield important insights into the evolution of psychiatric disorders and may open ways for new therapeutic approaches.
HPA axis; NGFs; psychiatric disorders; prevention of mental diseases; stress
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.