Axonal protective effects of the myelin-associated glycoprotein

Thien Nguyen, Niraj R. Mehta, Katherine Conant, Kee Jun Kim, Melina Jones, Peter A. Calabresi, Giorgia Melli, Ahmet Hoke, Ronald L. Schnaar, Guo Li Ming, Hongjun Song, Sanjay C. Keswani, John W. Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Progressive axonal degeneration follows demyelination in many neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis and inherited demyelinating neuropathies, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. One glial molecule, the myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), located in the adaxonal plasmalemma of myelin-producing cells, is known to signal to the axon and to modulate axonal caliber through phosphorylation of axonal neurofilament proteins. This report establishes for the first time that MAG also promotes resistance to axonal injury and prevents axonal degeneration both in cell culture and in vivo. This effect on axonal stability depends on the RGD domain around arginine 118 in the extracellular portion of MAG, but it is independent of Nogo signaling in the axon. Exploiting this pathway may lead to therapeutic strategies for neurological diseases characterized by axonal loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-637
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 21 2009


  • Axon-glia interaction
  • Axonal protection
  • MAG
  • Myelin
  • Myelin-associated glycoprotein
  • Schwann cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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