Experimental Neurology, Jun 2011

Myelin associated inhibitors: A link between injury-induced and experience-dependent plasticity


Akbik F, Cafferty WB, Strittmatter SM

In the adult, both neurologic recovery and anatomical growth after a CNS injury are limited. Two classes of growth inhibitors, myelin associated inhibitors (MAIs) and extracellular matrix associated inhibitors, limit both functional recovery and anatomical rearrangements in animal models of spinal cord injury.

Here we focus on how MAIs limit a wide spectrum of growth that includes regeneration, sprouting, and plasticity in both the intact and lesioned CNS. Three classic myelin associated inhibitors, Nogo-A, MAG, and OMgp, signal through their common receptors, Nogo-66 Receptor-1 (NgR1) and Paired-Immunoglobulin-like-Receptor-1 (PirB), to regulate cytoskeletal dynamics and inhibit growth.

Initially described as inhibitors of axonal regeneration, subsequent work has demonstrated that MAIs also limit activity and experience-dependent plasticity in the intact, adult CNS. MAIs therefore represent a point of convergence for plasticity that limits anatomical rearrangements regardless of the inciting stimulus, blurring the distinction between injury studies and more "basic" plasticity studies.

Read the full text