Glycans and neural cell interactions

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2004 Mar;5(3):195-208. doi: 10.1038/nrn1349.


Carbohydrate-carrying molecules in the nervous system have important roles during development, regeneration and synaptic plasticity. Carbohydrates mediate interactions between recognition molecules, thereby contributing to the formation of a complex molecular meshwork at the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix. The tremendous structural diversity of glycan chains allows for immense combinatorial possibilities that might underlie the fine-tuning of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Carbohydrate Conformation
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Cell Communication*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nervous System Diseases / metabolism
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Neurons / chemistry
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Polysaccharides