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Exp Neurol. 2008 Feb;209(2):302-12. Epub 2007 Jul 17.

White matter inhibitors in CNS axon regeneration failure.

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Department of Neurosciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0691, USA.


Multiple lines of evidence have indicated that the inability of adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) axons to regenerate after injury is partly due to the growth inhibitory property of central myelin. Three prototypical myelin-associated inhibitors of neurite outgrowth have been identified, including Nogo, myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) and oligodendrocyte-myelin glycoprotein (OMgp). These inhibitory ligands, their receptors and signaling pathways are being intensively investigated for their roles in CNS axon regeneration failure. In addition, several members of the axon guidance molecules have been implicated in restricting CNS axon regeneration, some of which are expressed by mature oligodendrocytes. Here we review in vitro and in vivo studies of these molecules in neurite growth and in axon regeneration failure and discuss the implications of these studies. While the increasing number of potential axon regeneration inhibitors highlights the complexity of the restrictive CNS environment, it provides new windows of opportunity as well as new challenges for therapeutic development for spinal cord injury and related neurological conditions.

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