Quantitative changes in perineuronal nets in development and posttraumatic condition

J Mol Histol. 2019 Jun;50(3):203-216. doi: 10.1007/s10735-019-09818-y. Epub 2019 Mar 22.

Abstract

Perineuronal net (PNN) is a highly structured portion of the CNS extracellular matrix (ECM) regulating synaptic plasticity and a range of pathologic conditions including posttraumatic regeneration and epilepsy. Here we studied Wisteria floribunda agglutinin-stained histological sections to quantify the PNN size and enrichment of chondroitin sulfates in mouse brain and spinal cord. Somatosensory cortex sections were examined during the period of PNN establishment at postnatal days 14, 21 and 28. The single cell PNN size and the chondroitin sulfate intensity were quantified for all cortex layers and specifically for the cortical layer IV which has the highest density of PNN-positive neurons. We demonstrate that the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan staining intensity is increased between P14 and P28 while the PNN size remains unchanged. We then addressed posttraumatic changes of the PNN expression in laminae 6 and 7 of cervical spinal cord following hemisection injury. We demonstrate increase of the chondroitin sulfate content at 1.6-1.8 mm rostrally from the injury site and increase of the density of PNN-bearing cells at 0.4-1.2 mm caudally from the injury site. We further demonstrate decrease of the single cell PNN area at 0.2 mm caudally from the injury site suggesting that the PNN ECM takes part in the posttraumatic tissue rearrangement in the spinal cord. Our results demonstrate new insights on the PNN structure dynamics in the developing and posttraumatic CNS.

Keywords: Brain development; Extracellular matrix; Perineuronal nets; Somatosensory cortex; Spinal cord injury.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycans / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Neuronal Plasticity / genetics*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Plant Lectins / chemistry
  • Plant Lectins / pharmacology
  • Receptors, N-Acetylglucosamine / chemistry
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Spinal Cord / pathology

Substances

  • Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycans
  • Plant Lectins
  • Receptors, N-Acetylglucosamine
  • wisteria lectin

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