Targeting Inhibitory Chondroitin Sulphate Proteoglycans to Promote Plasticity After Injury

  • Jessica C. F. KwokEmail author
  • Janosch P. Heller
  • Rong-Rong Zhao
  • James W. Fawcett
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1162)


Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are one of the major families of inhibitory extracellular matrix molecules in the central nervous system. The expression of various CSPGs is strong during early nervous system development; however, it is downregulated during maturation and up-regulated again after nervous system injury. In vivo injection of an enzyme called chondroitinase ABC, which removes the inhibitory chondroitin sulphate chains on the CSPGs, in the injured area promotes both the regeneration and plasticity of the neurons. Here, we describe the method of in vivo injection of the chondroitinase ABC into the cortex of adult rat brain and the histochemical method to assess the successfulness of the digestion.

Key words

Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans Perineuronal nets Extracellular matrix Chondroitinase ABC Plasticity Regeneration Central nervous system Spinal cord injury 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica C. F. Kwok
    • 1
    Email author
  • Janosch P. Heller
    • 1
  • Rong-Rong Zhao
    • 1
  • James W. Fawcett
    • 1
  1. 1.John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair, University of Cambridge, Forvie SiteCambridgeUK

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