Brain extracellular matrix affects AMPA receptor lateral mobility and short-term synaptic plasticity

Nat Neurosci. 2009 Jul;12(7):897-904. doi: 10.1038/nn.2338. Epub 2009 May 31.


Many synapses in the mature CNS are wrapped by a dense extracellular matrix (ECM). Using single-particle tracking and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, we found that this net-like ECM formed surface compartments on rat primary neurons that acted as lateral diffusion barriers for AMPA-type glutamate receptors. Enzymatic removal of the ECM increased extrasynaptic receptor diffusion and the exchange of synaptic AMPA receptors. Whole-cell patch-clamp recording revealed an increased paired-pulse ratio as a functional consequence of ECM removal. These results suggest that the surface compartments formed by the ECM hinder lateral diffusion of AMPA receptors and may therefore modulate short-term synaptic plasticity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology*
  • Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mice
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, AMPA / metabolism*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology


  • NR1 NMDA receptor
  • NR2A NMDA receptor
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase
  • glutamate receptor ionotropic, AMPA 2
  • glutamate receptor ionotropic, AMPA 1