Tropomyosin receptor kinase B is the high affinity catalytic receptor for several "neurotrophins", which are small protein growth factors that induce the survival and differentiation of distinct cell populations. The neurotrophins that activate TrkB are: BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor), neurotrophin-4 (NT-4), andneurotrophin-3 (NT-3). As such, TrkB mediates the multiple effects of these neurotrophic factors, which includes neuronal differentiation and survival. Research has shown that activation of the TrkB receptor can lead to down regulation of the KCC2 chloride transporter in cells of the CNS.
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