Trk Family Neurotrophin Receptors and p75 Receptor. A Multiple Competing Hypothesis Case in the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) History


In the area of Trk oncogene, this research has revealed the different competing hypotheses made at the time of its discovery. A conflict of interest arose within the group who identified it as the nerve growth factor receptor (NGF). An auxiliary assumption, on the cardinal importance of the low affinity p75 receptor, resulted in that the consistency of the group take patterns of competence. The level of provocation affected the joint effort. An environment reminds the denial that Stehelin was given by Varmus and Bishop, in the race for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Nowadays p75 receptor functions are described as “enigmatic”, and accepted that all the neurotrophins interact with two types of receptors: the specific to the ligands of the high-affinity Trk family of receptors and the low affinity p75 receptor (with structural similarities to the tumor necrosis factor and in liaison with the development of eye optical fiber). Against this background, papers concerning this subject and included in the ISI citation database are analysed, categorizing them through a system of descriptors, according to their original publication date. Complete time vectors are approximated by setting the analysis with a growth model based on Gompertz function. After the criteria used by authorities like Rita Levi-Montalcini, Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, Rodolfo Llinás and Victor McKunsick the selected material resulted in a database with 371 records. The data suggest the opportunity for historical sciences of a non-discrimination compliance test performed on multiple hypotheses.

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Barreiro, E. (2014). Trk Family Neurotrophin Receptors and p75 Receptor. A Multiple Competing Hypothesis Case in the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) History. Advances in Historical Studies, 3, 93-103. doi: 10.4236/ahs.2014.32009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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