It has long been recognized that the central nervous system (CNS) exhibits only limited capacity for axonal regeneration following injury. It has been proposed that myelin-associated inhibitory molecules are responsible for the nonpermissive nature of the CNS environment to axonal regeneration. Experimental strategies to enhance regeneration by neutralizing these inhibitory molecules are rapidly advancing toward clinical application. It is therefore important that the physiological distribution and functions of these supposed inhibitory molecules should be understood. In this review, we examine the distribution of these inhibitors of neurite outgrowth in relation to the longitudinal polarization of the myelinated axon into the node of Ranvier and associated domains and explore their potential domain specific physiological functions. Potential implications for the therapeutic strategy of neutralizing these inhibitory molecules to promote neural repair are discussed.
Keywords: myelin-associated glycoprotein, oligodendrocyte precursor cells, peripheral nervous system, myelinated axons, TN-R knockout mice
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