Studies on integrins in the nervous system

Methods Enzymol. 2007;426:203-21. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(07)26010-0.


Integrins are of interest to neuroscientists because they and many of their ligands are widely expressed in the nervous system and have been shown to have diverse roles in neural development and function (Clegg et al., 2003; Li and Pleasure, 2005; Pinkstaff et al., 1998, 1999; Reichardt and Tomaselli, 1991; Schmid et al., 2005). Integrins have also been implicated in control of pathogenesis in several neurodegenerative diseases, brain tumor pathogenesis, and the aftermath of brain and peripheral nervous system injury (Condic, 2001; Ekstrom et al., 2003; Kloss et al., 1999; Verdier and Penke, 2004; Wallquist et al., 2004). Using integrin antagonists as therapeutic agents in a variety of neurological diseases is of great interest at present (Blackmore and Letourneau, 2006; Mattern et al., 2005; Polman et al., 2006; Wang et al., 2006). In this chapter, we describe methods used in our laboratory to characterize neuronal responses to extracellular matrix proteins, and procedures for assessing integrin roles in neuronal cell attachment and differentiation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Integrins / physiology*
  • Nervous System / cytology*
  • Nervous System Physiological Phenomena*
  • Neurons / cytology


  • Integrins