The neurite outgrowth inhibitor Nogo A is involved in autoimmune-mediated demyelination

Nat Neurosci. 2004 Jul;7(7):736-44. doi: 10.1038/nn1261. Epub 2004 Jun 6.


Inhibitors associated with CNS myelin are thought to be important in the failure of axons to regenerate after spinal cord injury and in other neurodegenerative disorders. Here we show that targeting the CNS-specific inhibitor of neurite outgrowth Nogo A by active immunization blunts clinical signs, demyelination and axonal damage associated with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Mice vaccinated against Nogo A produce Nogo-specific antibodies that block the neurite outgrowth inhibitory activity associated with CNS myelin in vitro. Passive immunization with anti-Nogo IgGs also suppresses EAE. Our results identify Nogo A as an important determinant of the development of EAE and suggest that its blockade may help to maintain and/or to restore the neuronal integrity of the CNS after autoimmune insult in diseases such as MS. Our finding that Nogo A is involved in CNS autoimmune demyelination indicates that this molecule may have a far more complex role than has been previously anticipated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Antibodies / therapeutic use
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Demyelinating Diseases / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated* / metabolism
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated* / physiopathology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated* / therapy
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Myelin Proteins / genetics
  • Myelin Proteins / immunology
  • Myelin Proteins / physiology*
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein / immunology
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Neurites / physiology*
  • Nogo Proteins
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / drug effects
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology
  • Silver Staining / methods
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Vaccination / adverse effects


  • Antibodies
  • Cytokines
  • Mog protein, mouse
  • Mog protein, rat
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Nogo Proteins
  • Rtn4 protein, mouse
  • Rtn4 protein, rat