Heparan sulfate proteoglycans in the nervous system: their diverse roles in neurogenesis, axon guidance, and synaptogenesis

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2001 Apr;12(2):99-106. doi: 10.1006/scdb.2000.0238.


Development of the mammalian nervous system involves generation of neurons from neural stem cells, migration of generated neurons toward genetically determined locations, extension of axons and dendrites, and establishment of neuronal connectivity. Recent progresses revealed diverse role of heparan sulfate proteoglycans in these processes. This article reviews our current knowledge about the functional roles of heparan sulfate proteoglycans in three critical events in mammalian neural development, namely neurogenesis, axon guidance, and synapse development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*


  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans