Neurite growth inhibitors restrict plasticity and functional recovery following corticospinal tract lesions

Nat Neurosci. 1998 Jun;1(2):124-31. doi: 10.1038/373.


Anatomical plasticity and functional recovery after lesions of the rodent corticospinal tract (CST) decrease postnatally in parallel with myelin formation. Myelin-associated neurite growth inhibitory proteins prevent regenerative fiber growth, but whether they also prevent reactive sprouting of unlesioned fibers is less clear. Here we show that after unilateral CST lesion in the adult rat brainstem, both intact and lesioned tracts show topographically appropriate sprouting after treatment with a monoclonal antibody that neutralizes these inhibitory proteins. Antibody-treated animals showed full recovery in motor and sensory tests, whereas untreated lesioned rats exhibited persistent severe deficits. Neutralization of myelin-associated neurite growth inhibitors thus restores in adults the structural plasticity and functional recovery normally found only at perinatal ages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Growth Inhibitors / physiology*
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology
  • Neurites / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / drug effects
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Pyramidal Tracts / drug effects
  • Pyramidal Tracts / physiopathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Sensation / drug effects
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Growth Inhibitors