Chondroitin sulfate (CS) is an important glycosaminoglycan and is mainly found in the extracellular matrix as CS proteoglycans. In the brain, CS proteoglycans are highly concentrated in perineuronal nets (PNNs), which surround synapses and modulate their functions. To investigate the importance of CS, we produced and precisely examined mice that were deficient in the CS synthesizing enzyme, CSGalNAcT1 (T1KO). Biochemical analysis of T1KO revealed that loss of this enzyme reduced the amount of CS by approximately 50% in various brain regions. The amount of CS in PNNs was also diminished in T1KO compared to wild-type mice, although the amount of a major CS proteoglycan core protein, aggrecan, was not changed. In T1KO, we observed abnormalities in several behavioral tests, including the open-field test, acoustic startle response, and social preference. These results suggest that T1 is important for plasticity, probably due to regulation of CS-dependent PNNs, and that T1KO is a good model for investigation of PNNs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience