Inhibitory proteins, particularly Nogo 66, a highly conserved 66-amino-acid loop of Nogo A (an isoform of RTN4), play key roles in limiting the intrinsic capacity of the central nervous system (CNS) to regenerate after injury. Ligation of surface Nogo receptors (NgRs) and/or leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor B2 (LILRB2) and its mouse orthologue the paired immunoglobulin-like receptor B (PIRB) by Nogo 66 transduces inhibitory signals that potently inhibit neurite outgrowth. Here, we show that soluble leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor A3 (LILRA3) is a high-affinity receptor for Nogo 66, suggesting that LILRA3 might be a competitive antagonist to these cell surface inhibitory receptors. Consistent with this, LILRA3 significantly reversed Nogo-66-mediated inhibition of neurite outgrowth and promoted synapse formation in primary cortical neurons through regulation of the ERK/MEK pathway. LILRA3 represents a new antagonist to Nogo-66-mediated inhibition of neurite outgrowth in the CNS, a function distinct from its immune-regulatory role in leukocytes. This report is also the first to demonstrate that a member of LILR family normally not expressed in rodents exerts functions on mouse neurons through the highly homologous Nogo 66 ligand.
- Cortical neuron
- Leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor A3
- Neurite outgrowth
- Nogo 66