Influence of Sex and Stress on Perineuronal Nets in the Prefrontal Cortex



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The effects of exercise have been known to provide significant changes in the brain, as determined from physiological evidence of neurogenesis, vascularization, dendritic complexity and more. When juxtaposed with sedentary subjects, these changes are proved to be beneficial as the experiments in human and animal models reveal enhanced cognition and stress resilience. Recently, certain structures in the brain have been under the spotlight. Amongst the convoluted wiring of the brain are proteins in the extracellular matrix that have a role in neuroplasticity, which is the ability for the brain to heal and rearrange certain connections in response to the environment. These protein structures, perineuronal nets (PNNs), have also been discovered to play a critical role in development. They are therefore acknowledged as unique and significant in relation to physiology and pathology. Here, we focus on tissues from the sedentary subjects that went through developmental exercise in a prior experiment, measuring the quantity of PNNs and recognizing the pattern between sexes and chronic restraint stress (CRS).