The differentiation, growth and division of eukaryotic cells is modulated by various influences, of which growth factors are amongst the most important for many cell types. A wide range of polypeptide growth factors have been identified (Table 10.1) and more, undoubtedly, remain to be characterized. Factors that inhibit cell growth also exist. For example, interferons and TNF inhibit proliferation of various cell types.

Some growth factors may be classified as cytokines (e.g. interleukins, TGF-P and CSFs). Others (e.g. IGFs) are not members of this family. Each growth factor has a mitogenic (promotes cell division) effect on a characteristic range of cells. Whereas some such factors affect only a few cell types, most stimulate growth of a wide range of cells.

The ability of growth factors to promote accelerated cellular growth, differentiation and/or division has predictably attracted the attention of the pharmaceutical industry. Several such products, most notably a range of haematopoietic growth factors, have now gained approval for general medical use (Table 10.2), and such haematopoietic growth factors are considered directly below. A number of additional polypeptide growth factors are considered subsequently (Table 10.3).

Diabetes 2

Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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