In the adult mammalian CNS, the growth inhibitors oligodendrocyte-myelin glycoprotein (OMgp) and the reticulon RTN4 (Nogo) are broadly expressed in oligodendrocytes and neurons. Nogo and OMgp complex with the neuronal cell surface receptors Nogo receptor-1 (NgR1) and paired Ig-like receptor-B (PirB) to regulate neuronal morphology. In the healthy CNS, NgR1 regulates dendritic spine shape and attenuates activity-driven synaptic plasticity at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses. Here, we examine whether Nogo and OMgp influence functional synaptic plasticity, the efficacy by which synaptic transmission occurs. In acute hippocampal slices of adult mice, Nogo-66 and OMgp suppress NMDA receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) when locally applied to Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses. Neither Nogo-66 nor OMgp influences basal synaptic transmission or paired-pulse facilitation, a form of short-term synaptic plasticity. PirB-/- and NgR1-/- single mutants and NgR1-/-;PirB-/- double mutants show normal LTP, indistinguishable from wild-type controls. In juvenile mice, LTD in NgR1 -/-, but not PirB-/-, slices is absent. Mechanistic studies revealed that Nogo-66 and OMgpsuppress LTP in an NgR1-dependent manner. OMgp inhibits LTP in part through PirB but independently of p75. This suggests that NgR1 and PirB participate in ligand-dependent inhibition of synaptic plasticity. Loss of NgR1 leads to increased phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), signaling intermediates known to regulate neuronal growth and synaptic function. In primary cortical neurons, BDNF elicited phosphorylation of AKT and p70S6 kinase is attenuated in the presence of myelin inhibitors. Collectively, we provide evidence that mechanisms of neuronal growth inhibition and inhibition of synaptic strength are related. Thus, myelin inhibitors and their receptors may coordinate structural and functional neuronal plasticity in CNS health and disease.
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