The growth inhibitory nature of injured adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) tissue constitutes a major barrier to robust axonal outgrowth and functional recovery following trauma or disease. Prototypic CNS regeneration inhibitors are broadly expressed in the healthy and injured brain and spinal cord and include myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), the reticulon family member NogoA, oligodendrocyte myelin glycoprotein (OMgp), and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). These structurally diverse molecules strongly inhibit neurite outgrowth in vitro, and have been most extensively studied in the context of nervous system injury in vivo. The physiological role of CNS regeneration inhibitors in the naïve, or uninjured, CNS remains less well understood, but has received growing attention in recent years and is the focus of this review. CNS regeneration inhibitors regulate myelin development and axon stability, consolidate neuronal structure shaped by experience, and limit activity-dependent modification of synaptic strength. Altered function of CNS regeneration inhibitors is associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, suggesting crucial roles in brain development and health.
Keywords: CSPGs; MAG; NogoA; OMgp; regeneration; synaptic plasticity.