Otx2-PNN Interaction to Regulate Cortical Plasticity

Neural Plast. 2016;2016:7931693. doi: 10.1155/2016/7931693. Epub 2016 Jan 6.


The ability of the environment to shape cortical function is at its highest during critical periods of postnatal development. In the visual cortex, critical period onset is triggered by the maturation of parvalbumin inhibitory interneurons, which gradually become surrounded by a specialized glycosaminoglycan-rich extracellular matrix: the perineuronal nets. Among the identified factors regulating cortical plasticity in the visual cortex, extracortical homeoprotein Otx2 is transferred specifically into parvalbumin interneurons and this transfer regulates both the onset and the closure of the critical period of plasticity for binocular vision. Here, we review the interaction between the complex sugars of the perineuronal nets and homeoprotein Otx2 and how this interaction regulates cortical plasticity during critical period and in adulthood.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Critical Period, Psychological*
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology*
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Interneurons / metabolism
  • Interneurons / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Otx Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism
  • Visual Cortex / growth & development
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*


  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • OTX2 protein, human
  • Otx Transcription Factors
  • Parvalbumins