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Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2043:251-260. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9698-8_20.

Visualization of Perineuronal Nets in Central Nervous System Tissue Sections.

Author information

1
Faculty of Biological Sciences, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
2
School of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering,, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
3
Faculty of Biological Sciences, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK. j.kwok@leeds.ac.uk.
4
Institute of Experimental Medicine, Czech Academy of Science, Prague 4, Czech Republic. j.kwok@leeds.ac.uk.

Abstract

The perineuronal net (PNN) is a specialized extracellular matrix structure that surrounds subpopulations of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS). The appearance of PNNs on the cell surface marks the closure of the critical period during development and has been observed to reduce synaptic plasticity. Perineuronal nets comprise hyaluronan, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), link proteins, tenascin-R, and other components, some of which are substrates for a disintegrin-like and metalloprotease domain with thrombospondin type 1 motifs (ADAMTS) proteases. There is a high heterogeneity of PNNs in the CNS. Depending on which part of the CNS is studied, the PNNs may be observed surrounding the soma, or both the soma and proximal dendrites. The most robust marker for PNN is a lectin called Wisteria floribunda agglutinin. Here, we describe a method for preparing tissue for visualization of PNNs in CNS.

KEYWORDS:

Perineuronal nets; Wisteria floribunda agglutinin

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