Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Neurol. 2004 Aug;188(2):309-15.

Perineuronal nets potentially protect against oxidative stress.

Author information

Department of Neuroanatomy, Paul Flechsig Institute for Brain Research, University of Leipzig, Jahnallee 59, D-04109, Germany.


A specialized form of extracellular matrix (ECM) termed perineuronal nets (PNs) consisting of large aggregating chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), with hyaluronan and tenascin as main components, surrounds subpopulations of neurons. The glycosaminoglycan components of perineuronal nets form highly charged structures in the direct microenvironment of neurons and thus might be involved in local ion homeostasis. The polyanionic character suggests that perineuronal nets also potentially contribute to reduce the local oxidative potential in the neuronal microenvironment by scavenging and binding redox-active iron, thus providing some neuroprotection to net-associated neurons. Here, we show that neurons ensheathed by a perineuronal net in the human cerebral cortex are less frequently affected by lipofuscin accumulation than neurons without a net both in normal-aged brain and Alzheimer's disease (AD). As lipofuscin is an intralysosomal pigment composed of cross-linked proteins and lipids generated by iron-catalyzed oxidative processes, the present results suggest a neuroprotective function of perineuronal nets against oxidative stress, potentially involved in neurodegeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center