Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is a cytokine a member of the interleukin-6 (IL6) family, expressed in glial cells within the central and peripheral nervous systems. It stimulates gene expression, cell survival or differentiation in a variety of neuronal cell types such as sensory, sympathetic, ciliary and motor neurons. CNTF is not essential for neural development, but instead acts in response to injury or other stresses. CNTF transduces signal by binding to its receptor complex. This receptor complex consists of a ligand-binding component, CNTF receptor (CNTFR), associated with two signaling receptor components, gp130 and leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR). The three CNTF receptor components are initially unassociated on the cell surface, and are brought together in step-wise fashion upon CNTF binding. CNTF first binds to CNTFR alpha, then recruits gp130, and finally complexes with LIFR beta (Sleeman et al. 2000, Stahl & Yancopoulos 1994, Robledo et al. 1996).