Extracellular matrix molecules and synaptic plasticity

Alexander Dityatev, Melitta Schachner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

391 Scopus citations


Interactions between cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) have long been accepted to have pivotal roles in neural development and regeneration. Recent data also support the involvement of several ECM molecules in synaptic plasticity. Here, we review the present knowledge of the underlying mechanisms. These include interactions with cell surface receptors for ECM molecules coupled to the cytoskeleton and tyrosine kinase activities, and interactions with ion channels or neurotransmitter receptors. We hypothesize that ECM molecules derived from neurons and glia might also shape synaptic plasticity through regulation of organelle trafficking, and by imposing diffusion constraints for neurotransmitters and trophic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-468
Number of pages13
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)


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