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Biochemistry Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 789083, 8 pages
Review Article

Neural Functions of Matrix Metalloproteinases: Plasticity, Neurogenesis, and Disease

1Department of Cell Biology, Osaka Bioscience Institute, 6-2-4 Furuedai, Suita, Osaka 565-0874, Japan
2Graduate School of Biological Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara 630-0192, Japan

Received 5 October 2011; Revised 8 December 2011; Accepted 29 January 2012

Academic Editor: Sanford I. Bernstein

Copyright © 2012 Hiromi Fujioka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The brain changes in response to experience and altered environment. To do that, the nervous system often remodels the structures of neuronal circuits. This structural plasticity of the neuronal circuits appears to be controlled not only by intrinsic factors, but also by extrinsic mechanisms including modification of the extracellular matrix. Recent studies employing a range of animal models implicate that matrix metalloproteinases regulate multiple aspects of the neuronal development and remodeling in the brain. This paper aims to summarize recent advances of our knowledge on the neuronal functions of matrix metalloproteinases and discuss how they might relate in neuronal disease.