The MAG-deficient mouse was used to test whether MAG acts as a significant inhibitor of axonal regeneration in the adult mammalian CNS, as suggested by cell culture experiments. Cell spreading, neurite elongation, or growth cone collapse of different cell types in vitro was not significantly different when myelin preparations or optic nerve cryosections from either MAG-deficient or wild-type mice were used as a substrate. More importantly, the extent of axonal regrowth in lesioned optic nerve and corticospinal tract in vivo was similarly poor in MAG-deficient and wild-type mice. However, axonal regrowth increased significantly and to a similar extent in both genotypes after application of the IN-1 antibody directed against the neurite growth inhibitors NI-35 and NI-250. These observations do not support the view that MAG is a significant inhibitor of axonal regeneration in the adult CNS.
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