Nogo is a myelin-derived axon outgrowth inhibitor, but its role in the repair of the central nervous system has been unclear. In 30 May Nature, Tadzia GrandPre and colleagues from Yale University School of Medicine, show that antagonizing the Nogo-66 receptor (NgR) can promote axonal regeneration following spinal cord section (Nature 2002, 417:547-551).

GrandPre et al. identified a competitive antagonist of NgR (named NEP1–40), which is derived from aminoterminal peptide fragments of Nogo-66. They observed that NEP1–40 blocks CNS myelin inhibition of axonal outgrowth in vitro. In addition, intrathecal administration of NEP1–40 to rats with spinal cord sections resulted in significant axon growth of the corticospinal tract, and improved functional recovery.

"The high potency, selectivity and efficacy of NEP1–40 raises the possibility that a NgR antagonist might be an effective therapeutic agent in clinical conditions characterized by a failure of axonal regeneration, including spinal...

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