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Neuron. 1991 Dec;7(6):995-1005.

Down-regulation of myelin-associated glycoprotein on Schwann cells by interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha affects neurite outgrowth.

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Department of Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg, Germany.


To investigate the influence of inflammatory cytokines on the potential of peripheral nerves to regenerate, we analyzed the effect of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) on the ability of immortalized Schwann cells to mediate outgrowth of neurites from primary DRG neurons. We found that IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha synergistically inhibited the neurite outgrowth-promoting properties of the Schwann cells by specifically down-regulating myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) at the levels of mRNA and cell surface protein by approximately 60%. Antibodies to MAg inhibited the outgrowth of neurites on Schwann cells to the same extent as treatment with the two cytokines. Since MAG appears to be involved in both neurite outgrowth and myelination, our findings may provide evidence for a mechanism, by which inflammatory cytokines interfere with Schwann cell-neuron interactions.

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