Perineuronal Nets: A Special Structure in the Central Nervous System Extracellular Matrix

The extracellular matrix of the central nervous system (CNS) contains various compartments. Perineuronal nets (PNNs) are specialized and stable brain matrices which enwrap the surface of the soma and proximal dendrites on the neuronal surface. The presence of PNNs marks the end of the critical period in the developing CNS and limits the degree of plasticity after CNS injury. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, link proteins, hyaluronan, and tenascin-R are identified in the PNNs. Here, we describe a method which allows the sequential extraction of the main matrix compartments of the CNS, ending with the isolation of the PNN matrix molecules from the normal loose extracellular matrix in the brain. Finally we describe an easy way to quantify the extracted glycans.
Source: Springer protocols feed by Neuroscience - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: news