Why do Nogo/Nogo-66 receptor gene knockouts result in inferior regeneration compared to treatment with neutralizing agents?

J Neurochem. 2005 Aug;94(4):865-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2005.03238.x.


IN-1, the monoclonal antibody against the exon 3-encoded N-terminal domain of Nogo-A, and the Nogo-66 receptor (NgR) antagonist NEP1-40 have both shown efficacy in promoting regeneration in animal spinal cord injury models, the latter even when administered subcutaneously 1 week after injury. These results are supportive of the hypothesis that the Nogo-NgR axis is a major path for inhibition of spinal cord axonal regeneration and uphold the promises of these neutralizing agents in clinical applications. However, mice with targeted disruption of Nogo and NgR have, surprisingly, only modest regenerative capacity (if any) compared with treatment with IN-1 or NEP1-40. Disruption of the Nogo gene by various groups yielded results ranging from significant regenerative improvement in young mice to no improvement. Likewise, knockout of NgR produced some improvement in raphespinal and rubrospinal axonal regeneration, but not that of corticospinal neurons. Other than invoking possible differences in genetic background, we suggest here some possible and testable explanations for the above phenomena. These possibilities include effects of IN-1 and NEP1-40 on the CNS beyond neutralization of Nogo and NgR functions, and the latter's possible role in the CNS beyond that of neuronal growth inhibition.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology*
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout / genetics
  • Myelin Proteins / deficiency*
  • Myelin Proteins / genetics
  • Myelin Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Nerve Regeneration / drug effects*
  • Nogo Proteins
  • Nogo Receptor 1
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / deficiency*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / metabolism
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Myelin Proteins
  • NEPI-40 protein, mouse
  • Nogo Proteins
  • Nogo Receptor 1
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Rtn4 protein, mouse
  • Rtn4r protein, mouse