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Nature. 1995 Nov 30;378(6556):498-501.

Recovery from spinal cord injury mediated by antibodies to neurite growth inhibitors.

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Department of Cell Biology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007, USA.


There is little axonal growth after central nervous system (CNS) injury in adult mammals. The administration of antibodies (IN-1) to neutralize the myelin-associated neurite growth inhibitory proteins leads to long-distance regrowth of a proportion of CNS axons after injury. Our aim was: to determine if spinal cord lesion in adult rats, followed by treatment with antibodies to neurite growth inhibitors, can lead to regeneration and anatomical plasticity of other spinally projecting pathways; to determine if the anatomical projections persist at long survival intervals; and to determine whether this fibre growth is associated with recovery of function. We report here that brain stem-spinal as well as corticospinal axons undergo regeneration and anatomical plasticity after application of IN-1 antibodies. There is a recovery of specific reflex and locomotor functions after spinal cord injury in these adult rats. Removal of the sensorimotor cortex in IN-1-treated rats 2-3 months later abolished the recovered contact-placing responses, suggesting that the recovery was dependent upon the regrowth of these pathways.

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