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

Exp Neurol. 2012 May;235(1):43-52. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2011.06.006. Epub 2011 Jun 15.


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-B (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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / metabolism*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / metabolism*
  • Myelin Proteins / metabolism*
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein / metabolism*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Nogo Proteins
  • Recovery of Function / physiology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology


  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein
  • Nogo Proteins
  • Omg protein, mouse
  • Rtn4 protein, mouse