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Neurite Outgrowth Inhibitor of Gliotic Brain Tissue. Mode of Action and Cellular Localization, Studied with Specific Monoclonal Antibodies



Membranes from injured adult rat brain express a heparan/chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan that inhibits neurite outgrowth in vitro. We have developed monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) against this proteoglycan, two of which were characterized and used for the study of the inhibitor mode of action and localization in normal and injured adult brain. The antibodies recognized a molecule of apparent molecular weight 200 kDa in Western blots of injured brain membranes. One of the Mabs blocked both the inhibition of neurite outgrowth and the growth cone collapse activity, associated with the proteoglycan. In adult brain, inhibitor immunoreactivity was found predominantly in neurons but, after a lesion, it was associated mainly with reactive glial cells. The localization of neurite outgrowth inhibitors in reactive glia supports the idea that gliotic tissue is largely responsible for the failure of axonal regeneration in mammalian CNS