Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) is a candidate regulator of embryonic neurogenesis. The aim of this study was to specify the functional significance of CSPG in adult hippocampal neurogenesis using male mice. Here, we showed that neural stem cells and neuronal progenitors in the dentate gyrus were covered in part by CSPG. Pharmacological depletion of CSPG in the dentate gyrus reduced the densities of neuronal progenitors and newborn granule cells. 3D reconstruction of newborn granule cells showed that their maturation was inhibited by CSPG digestion. The novel object recognition test revealed that CSPG digestion caused cognitive memory impairment. Western blot analysis showed that expression of β-catenin in the dentate gyrus was decreased by CSPG digestion. The amount of CSPG in the dentate gyrus was increased by enriched environment (EE) and was decreased by forced swim stress. In addition, EE accelerated the recovery of CSPG expression in the dentate gyrus from the pharmacological depletion and promoted the restoration of granule cell production. Conversely, the densities of newborn granule cells were also decreased in mice that lacked chondroitin sulfate N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 1 (CSGalNAcT1), a key enzyme for CSPG synthesis (T1KO mice). The capacity of EE to promote granule cell production and improve cognitive memory was impaired in T1KO mice. These findings indicate that CSPG is involved in the regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis and suggest that increased synthesis of CSPG by CSGalNacT1 may mediate promotion of granule cell production and improvement of cognitive memory in response to EE.
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