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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Mar 2024 - 7 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 01

J Neurochem


Perineuronal net in the extrinsic innervation of the distal colon of mice and its remodeling in ulcerative colitis.


da Silva MDV, da Silva Bonassa L, Piva M, Basso CR, Zaninelli TH, Machado CCA, de Andrade FG, Miqueloto CA, Sant Ana DMG, Aktar R, Peiris M, Aziz Q, Blackshaw LA, Verri WA, de Almeida Araújo EJ


The perineuronal net (PNN) is a well-described highly specialized extracellular matrix structure found in the central nervous system. Thus far, no reports of its presence or connection to pathological processes have been described in the peripheral nervous system. Our study demonstrates the presence of a PNN in the spinal afferent innervation of the distal colon of mice and characterizes structural and morphological alterations induced in an ulcerative colitis (UC) model. C57Bl/6 mice were given 3% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to induce acute or chronic UC. L6/S1 dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were collected. PNNs were labeled using fluorescein-conjugated Wisteria Floribunda (WFA) l lectin, and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) immunofluorescence was used to detect DRG neurons. Most DRG cell bodies and their extensions toward peripheral nerves were found surrounded by the PNN-like structure (WFA+), labeling neurons’ cytoplasm and the pericellular surfaces. The amount of WFA+ neuronal cell bodies was increased in both acute and chronic UC, and the PNN-like structure around cell bodies was thicker in UC groups. In conclusion, a PNN-like structure around DRG neuronal cell bodies was described and found modulated by UC, as changes in quantity, morphology, and expression profile of the PNN were detected, suggesting a potential role in sensory neuron peripheral sensitization, possibly modulating the pain profile of ulcerative colitis.