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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 256389, 12 pages
Research Article

Development and Structural Variety of the Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycans-Contained Extracellular Matrix in the Mouse Brain

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Nara Medical University, 840 Shijo-cho, Kashihara, Nara 634-8521, Japan

Received 27 May 2015; Revised 3 September 2015; Accepted 14 September 2015

Academic Editor: Jessica C. Kwok

Copyright © 2015 Noriko Horii-Hayashi 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.


Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are major components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in the brain. In adult mammals, CSPGs form the specialized ECM structure perineuronal nets (PNNs) that surround somata and dendrites of certain types of neurons. PNNs restrict synaptic plasticity and regulate the closure of critical periods. Although previous studies have examined the starting period of PNN formation, focusing on primary sensory cortices, there are no systematic studies at the whole brain level. Here, we examined the starting period of PNN formation in male mice ranging in age from postnatal day 3 to week 11, mainly focusing on several cortical areas, limbic structures, hypothalamus, and brain stem, using lectin histochemistry with Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA). Results showed that early PNN formation was observed in several reticular formations of the brain stem related to the cranial nerves and primary somatosensory cortices. In the limbic system, PNN formation in the hippocampus started earlier than that of the amygdala. Furthermore, in the medial amygdaloid nucleus and some hypothalamic regions, WFA labeling did not show typical PNN-like forms. The present study suggests spatiotemporal differences at the beginning of PNN formation and a structural variety of CSPG-contained ECM in the brain.