Patterns of Nogo mRNA and protein expression in the developing and adult rat and after CNS lesions
J Neurosci 22(9): 3553-67
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Nogo-A is a neurite growth inhibitor involved in regenerative failure and restriction of structural plasticity in the adult CNS. Three major protein products (Nogo-A, -B, and -C) are derived from the nogo gene. Here we describe the embryonic and postnatal expression of the three Nogo isoforms in the rat by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Northern and Western blot analysis indicated that Nogo-A is predominantly expressed in the nervous system with lower levels also present in testis and heart. In CNS myelin, confocal and immunoelectron microscopy revealed that Nogo-A is expressed in oligodendrocyte cell bodies and processes and localized in the innermost adaxonal and outermost myelin membranes. Additionally, we find Nogo-A to be expressed by projection neurons, in particular during development, and by postmitotic cells in the developing cortex, spinal cord, and cerebellum. The expression levels of Nogo-A/B were not changed significantly after traumatic lesions to the cortex or spinal cord. Nogo-B showed widespread expression in the central and peripheral nervous systems and other peripheral tissues. Nogo-C was mainly found in skeletal muscle, but brain and heart were also found to express this isoform. The localization of Nogo-A in oligodendrocytes fits well with its role as a myelin-associated inhibitor of regenerative fiber growth and structural plasticity. However, expression of Nogo-A in other tissues and, in particular, in neurons and the widespread expression of the two shorter isoforms, Nogo-B and -C, suggest that the Nogo family of proteins might have function(s) additional to the neurite growth-inhibitory activity.