Potential involvement of perineuronal nets in brain aging: An anatomical point of view

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The perineuronal net, a meshworklike aggregate in the extracellular matrix, enwraps specific subsets of neurons in the brain. Recent studies show unique regulatory roles of PNNs in brain function and structure. In this chapter, we review the present knowledge on PNNs with respect to neuronal protection, synaptic plasticity, and cognitive function in normal brain aging. In particular, expression patterns and molecular composition of PNNs in the brain are altered with aging in a species- and region-specific manner. In the brain microenvironment, PNNs are neuroprotective against excitotoxicity and oxidative stress, which are increased with aging. PNNs represent a physical framework that modulates synaptic plasticity, which is important, as impaired synaptic plasticity is one of the major mechanisms responsible for age-related cognitive decline. Future studies on the mechanistic link between PNNs and brain aging may be key to developing novel therapeutics for age-related cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFactors Affecting Neurological Aging
Subtitle of host publicationGenetics, Neurology, Behavior, and Diet
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128179901
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


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