A 'GAG' reflex prevents repair of the damaged CNS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The extracellular matrix of the central nervous system (CNS) serves as both a supporting structure for cells and a rich source of signaling molecules that can influence cell proliferation, survival, migration and differentiation. A large proportion of this matrix is composed of proteoglycans-proteins with long chains of polysaccharides, called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), covalently attached. Although many of the activities of proteoglycans depend on their core proteins, GAGs themselves can influence cell signaling. Here we review accumulating evidence that two GAGs, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronan, play essential roles during nervous system development but also accumulate in chronic CNS lesions and inhibit axonal regeneration and remyelination, making them significant hindrances to CNS repair. We propose that the balance between the synthesis and degradation of these molecules dictates, in part, how regeneration and recovery from CNS damage occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2008

Fingerprint

Glycosaminoglycans
Reflex
Central Nervous System
Proteoglycans
Regeneration
Hyaluronic Acid
Nervous System
Extracellular Matrix
Polysaccharides
Cell Differentiation
Cell Survival
Proteins
Cell Proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

A 'GAG' reflex prevents repair of the damaged CNS. / Sherman, Lawrence (Larry); Back, Stephen.

In: Trends in Neurosciences, Vol. 31, No. 1, 01.2008, p. 44-52.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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