The qualitative and quantitative distribution pattern of hyaluronan (HA), a component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), was studied in the frog central nervous system by using a highly specific HA probe and digital image analysis. HA reaction was observed in both the white and the gray matter, showing a very intense staining around the perikarya and dendrites in the perineuronal net (PN). In the telencephalon, strong reaction was found in different parts of the olfactory system, in the pallium, and in the amygdala. In the diencephalon, intensive staining was found in the nucleus of Bellonci, the dorsal habenula, the lateral and central thalamic nuclei, and the subependymal zone of the third ventricle. In the mesencephalon, layers of optic tectum displayed different intensities, with the strongest reaction in layers B, D, F, 3, and 5. Other structures of the mesencephalon showed regional differences. The PN was especially intensively stained around the perikarya of the toral nuclei, the oculomotor and trochlear nuclei, and the basal optic nucleus. In the rhombencephalon, the granular layer of cerebellum, the vestibulocochlear nuclei, the superior olive, the spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve, and parts of the reticular formation showed the most intense reaction in the PN. In the spinal cord, considerable HA staining was found in the white matter and around the perikarya of motoneurons. The present study is the first description of the HA-positive areas of frog brain and spinal cord demonstrating the heterogeneity of HA distribution in the frog central nervous system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas