Activation of NMDA receptors promotes dendritic spine development through MMP-mediated ICAM-5 cleavage.
ABSTRACT Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 are pivotal in remodeling many tissues. However, their functions and candidate substrates for brain development are poorly characterized. Intercellular adhesion molecule-5 (ICAM-5; Telencephalin) is a neuronal adhesion molecule that regulates dendritic elongation and spine maturation. We find that ICAM-5 is cleaved from hippocampal neurons when the cells are treated with N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) or alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA). The cleavage is blocked by MMP-2 and -9 inhibitors and small interfering RNAs. Newborn MMP-2- and MMP-9-deficient mice brains contain more full-length ICAM-5 than wild-type mice. NMDA receptor activation disrupts the actin cytoskeletal association of ICAM-5, which promotes its cleavage. ICAM-5 is mainly located in dendritic filopodia and immature thin spines. MMP inhibitors block the NMDA-induced cleavage of ICAM-5 more efficiently in dendritic shafts than in thin spines. ICAM-5 deficiency causes retraction of thin spine heads in response to NMDA stimulation. Soluble ICAM-5 promotes elongation of dendritic filopodia from wild-type neurons, but not from ICAM-5-deficient neurons. Thus, MMPs are important for ICAM-5-mediated dendritic spine development.
Article: A crucial role for matrix metalloproteinase 2 in osteocytic canalicular formation and bone metabolism.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Extracellular matrix production and degradation by bone cells are critical steps in bone metabolism. Mutations of the gene encoding MMP-2, an extracellular matrix-degrading enzyme, are associated with a human genetic disorder characterized by subcutaneous nodules, arthropathy, and focal osteolysis. It is not known how the loss of MMP-2 function results in the pathology. Here, we show that Mmp2(-/-) mice exhibited opposing bone phenotypes caused by an impaired osteocytic canalicular network. Mmp2(-/-) mice showed decreased bone mineral density in the limb and trunk bones but increased bone volume in the calvariae. In the long bones, there was moderate disruption of the osteocytic networks and reduced bone density throughout life, whereas osteoblast and osteoclast function was normal. In contrast, aged but not young Mmp2(-/-) mice had calvarial sclerosis with osteocyte death. Severe disruption of the osteocytic networks preceded osteocyte loss in Mmp2(-/-) calvariae. Successful transplantation of wild-type periosteum restored the osteocytic canalicular networks in the Mmp2(-/-) calvariae, suggesting local roles of MMP-2 in determining bone phenotypes. Our results indicate that MMP-2 plays a crucial role in forming and maintaining the osteocytic canalicular network, and we propose that osteocytic network formation is a determinant of bone remodeling and mineralization.Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2006; 281(44):33814-24. · 4.77 Impact Factor
T H E J O U R N A L O F C E L L B I O L O G Y
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The Journal of Cell Biology, Vol. 178, No. 4, August 13, 2007 687–700
Dendritic spines are small, actin-rich protrusions scattered
along dendrites, and they carry the postsynaptic components
of >90% of excitatory synapses. Despite of being tiny in size,
spines are highly dynamic structures that continuously undergo
changes in shape and size over time (Hering and Sheng, 2001;
Yuste and Bonhoeffer, 2004). A multitude of molecules has
been implicated in dendritic spine development and remodel-
ing. Among these, the neurotransmitter receptors, especially
N-methyl-d- aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor (NR) and α-amino-
3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA) receptor
(GluR), which are well-known inducers of spine formation, reg-
ulate spine maturation and stabilization via calcium-dependent
regulation of fi lamentous actin turnover (Matus, 2000; Oertner
and Matus, 2005). Besides, other cell surface molecules also
infl uence spine properties in response to external signals by
mediating cell adhesion and regulating the networks of inter-
connected signaling pathways, which converge to regulate
actin dynamics in spines (Ethell and Pasquale, 2005; Tada and
Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) and ECM molecules are
instrumental in providing physical connections and generating
cellular signaling events. Importantly, several recent studies
have suggested the involvement of CAMs and ECMs in dendritic
spine remodeling (Ethell and Pasquale, 2005) and synaptic plas-
ticity (Washbourne et al., 2004; Gerrow and El-Husseini, 2006).
These include N-cadherin (Togashi et al., 2002), syndecan-2
Activation of NMDA receptors promotes dendritic
spine development through MMP-mediated
Li Tian,1 Michael Stefanidakis,1 Lin Ning,1 Philippe Van Lint,3 Henrietta Nyman-Huttunen,1 Claude Libert,3
Shigeyoshi Itohara,4 Masayoshi Mishina,5 Heikki Rauvala,2 and Carl G. Gahmberg1
1Division of Biochemistry, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences, and 2Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki, FIN-00014
3Department for Molecular Biomedical Research, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology and Ghent University, B-9052 Ghent (Zwijnaarde), Belgium
4Laboratory of Behavioral Genetics, Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Brain Science Institute, Wako, 351-0198, Japan
5Department of Molecular Neurobiology and Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan
brain development are poorly characterized. Intercellular
adhesion molecule-5 (ICAM-5; Telencephalin) is a neuro-
nal adhesion molecule that regulates dendritic elongation
and spine maturation. We fi nd that ICAM-5 is cleaved
from hippocampal neurons when the cells are treated with
N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) or α-amino-3-hydroxy-
5-methylisoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA). The cleavage is
blocked by MMP-2 and -9 inhibitors and small interfering
RNAs. Newborn MMP-2– and MMP-9–defi cient mice
atrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 are
pivotal in remodeling many tissues. However,
their functions and candidate substrates for
brains contain more full-length ICAM-5 than wild-type
mice. NMDA receptor activation disrupts the actin cyto-
skeletal association of ICAM-5, which promotes its cleav-
age. ICAM-5 is mainly located in dendritic fi lopodia and
immature thin spines. MMP inhibitors block the NMDA-
induced cleavage of ICAM-5 more effi ciently in dendritic
shafts than in thin spines. ICAM-5 defi ciency causes re-
traction of thin spine heads in response to NMDA stimula-
tion. Soluble ICAM-5 promotes elongation of dendritic
fi lopodia from wild-type neurons, but not from ICAM-5–
defi cient neurons. Thus, MMPs are important for ICAM-5–
mediated dendritic spine development.
M. Stefanidakis and L. Ning contributed equally to this paper.
Correspondence to Li Tian: firstname.lastname@example.org
M. Stefanidakis’s present address is Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical
School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Center for Excellence in Vascular
Biology, Boston, MA 02115.
Abbreviations used in this paper: AMPA, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-
propionic acid; CAM, cell adhesion molecule; CTF, C-terminal fragment; DIV,
day in vitro; DNQX, 6,7,-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3 (1H,4H)-dione; ICAM, inter-
cellular adhesion molecule; LTP, long-term potentiation; MALDI-TOF, matrix-assisted
laser desorption/ionization–time of fl ight; MAP, microtubule-associated protein;
MMP, matrix metalloproteinase; NMDA, N-methyl-D-aspartic acid; NR, NMDA
receptor; NTF, N-terminal fragment; PSD, postsynaptic density; sICAM-5, soluble
ICAM-5; WT, wild type.
The online version of this article contains supplemental material.
JCB • VOLUME 178 • NUMBER 4 • 2007 688
(Ethell et al., 2001), neural CAM (Dityatev et al., 2004), integ-
rins (Shi and Ethell, 2006), laminins (Oray et al., 2004), and
reelin (Liu et al., 2001).
Intercellular adhesion molecule-5 (ICAM-5; Telencephalin)
belongs to the Ig superfamily (Yoshihara et al., 1994; Gahmberg
et al., 1998). It is specifi cally expressed in the postnatal excitatory
neuronal cell bodies, dendritic shafts, and dendritic fi lopodia of
the telencephalon (Benson et al., 1998; Mitsui et al., 2005). The
expression of ICAM-5 temporally parallels dendritogenesis and
synaptogenesis (Yoshihara et al., 1994). In agreement, ICAM-5
has been shown to promote dendritic elongation and branching
of hippocampal neurons in vitro (Tian et al., 2000). ICAM-5–
defi cient mice exhibited decreased density of dendritic fi lopodia,
accelerated maturation of dendritic spines (Matsuno et al., 2006),
and changes in long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus
(Nakamura et al., 2001).
Soluble ICAM-5 (sICAM-5) has been detected in physio-
logical fl uids under several pathological conditions (Guo et al.,
2000; Lindsberg et al., 2002; Borusiak et al., 2005). However,
the nature of candidate proteinases and the physiological mean-
ing of the proteolytic cleavage of membrane-bound ICAM-5
have remained unknown.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) form a large family
of mostly secreted, zinc-dependent endopeptidases, which are
important for the regulation of cellular behavior through pro-
teolytic cleavage of ECMs and cell surface proteins (Malemud,
2006). Although a large body of data has connected MMPs
to brain injury and pathology, accumulating evidence has
extended their roles into the normal physiological functions
of the brain (Dzwonek et al., 2004; Luo, 2005; Ethell and
Among MMPs, MMP-2 and -9 are most abundantly ex-
pressed in the developing brain. MMP-2 is found mainly in as-
trocytes, whereas MMP-9 is highly expressed in neuronal cell
bodies and dendrites (Szklarczyk et al., 2002; Ayoub et al.,
2005). The expression and activity of MMP-9 have been shown
to depend on NR activation and LTP (Meighan et al., 2006;
Nagy et al., 2006). Growing data also suggest the association of
MMP-9 (Meighan et al., 2006; Nagy et al., 2006) and other
ECM-degrading enzymes (Oray et al., 2004; Bilousova et al.,
2006; Monea et al., 2006) with dendritic spine remodeling, syn-
aptic plasticity, learning, and memory formation. Although sev-
eral ECMs and cell surface proteins, which play important roles
in the aforementioned functions, have been identifi ed as MMP
substrates, the target molecules for MMP-2 or -9 in the brain
have remained largely elusive.
In the present study, we examined the possibility of ICAM-5
acting as a substrate for MMP-2 or -9, using a variety of experi-
mental approaches, and investigated the role of MMP-mediated
ICAM-5 proteolytic cleavage in the regulation of dendritic
NMDA and AMPA promote cleavage
of ICAM-5 from hippocampal neurons
Because sICAM-5 has been detected under various pathologi-
cal conditions, we studied whether ICAM-5 cleavage takes
place during physiological neuronal maturation. For this pur-
pose, we examined the release of sICAM-5 from cultured hip-
pocampal neurons at different developmental stages in vitro
(3–21 d in vitro [DIV]). The expression of full-length ICAM-5
of 130 kD was low in the 3-DIV hippocampal neurons, but
starting from 7 DIV, when dendrites extensively develop in hip-
pocampal neurons, the expression of full-length ICAM-5 dra-
matically increased and reached a plateau thereafter (Fig. 1,
A and B, right). In comparison with this, sICAM-5 of 85–110 kD
was most strongly released at 14–21 DIV (Fig. 1, A and B,
left), which parallels the period of dendritic spine maturation
and synaptic formation. This indicates that the cleavage of
membrane-bound ICAM-5 may play an important role during
Figure 1. Cleavage of ICAM-5 from hippo-
campal neurons is promoted by NMDA and
AMPA. (A) Cell lysates and culture media from
rat primary hippocampal neurons of different
developmental stages (3–21 DIV) were collected
separately, and ICAM-5 was detected by poly-
clonal antibodies against the ICAM-5 cytoplas-
mic tail (ICAM-5cp) or ectodomains (1000J),
respectively. sICAM-5 of 85- and 110-kD frag-
ments were released into the media and reached
a maximum at 14–21 DIV, whereas the expres-
sion of full-length ICAM-5 of 130 kD in neurons
started to increase from 7 DIV onward. (B) Quan-
titative analysis of band intensities. (C) In 14-DIV
hippocampal neurons, 5 μM NMDA or AMPA
treatment caused a signifi cant release of the
sICAM-5 fragments with a concomitant reduction
of the membrane-bound ICAM-5-fl level, which
was inhibited by 20 μM of their respective
antagonists, MK801 or DNQX. Half of each
medium sample was applied to SDS-PAGE gel
for analysis. (D) Quantitative analysis of band
intensities of the sICAM-5110 from the culture
media. Error bars indicate mean ± SD. *, P <
0.05; **, P < 0.01.
ICAM-5 CLEAVAGE BY MMPS REGULATES SPINE DEVELOPMENT • TIAN ET AL.689
The NRs and GluRs are key regulators of spine formation
and maturation. Therefore, we tested the effects of NMDA and
AMPA on ICAM-5 cleavage from hippocampal neurons. In 14-
DIV hippocampal neurons, 5 μM NMDA or AMPA treatment
caused signifi cant release of the sICAM-5 fragments of 110 and
80–85 kD, with concomitant reduction of the membrane-bound
ICAM-5 (Fig. 1, C and D). Moreover, the cleavage of ICAM-5
was inhibited by the NMDA antagonist MK801 and the non-
NMDA antagonist DNQX (6,7,-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3[1H,4H]-
dione; Fig. 1, C and D).
MMP-2 and -9 cleave
the membrane-bound ICAM-5
To further investigate the mechanism of ICAM-5 proteo-
lytic cleavage, we used various chemical or peptide inhib-
itors of MMPs. As shown in Fig. 2, ICAM-5 cleavage was
almost completely inhibited by the broad-spectrum MMP in-
hibitor GM6001, but not by its negative control. A variety of
MMP-2 and -9 inhibitors also partially or completely blocked
the cleavage (Fig. 2, A and B). These data provide the fi rst
evidence that MMP-2 and -9, especially when activated by
Figure 2. Cleavage of ICAM-5 is mediated by MMP-2 and -9. (A) 14-DIV neurons were left untreated or treated with NMDA in the presence of MMP inhibi-
tors. The NMDA-induced cleavage of ICAM-5 was blocked by MMP-2 and -9 inhibitors, as compared with the negative controls. Actin in cell lysates was
used to quantitate the amount of cells from which the culture media were collected. (B) Quantitative analysis of A. Error bars indicate mean ± SD. *, P <
0.05; **, P <0.01. (C) The siRNAs for rat MMP-2 and -9 transfected into the 9-DIV neurons effi ciently blocked the ICAM-5 cleavage. Incubation of recom-
binant mouse ICAM-5 D1-9-Fc protein with active MMP-2 or -9 enzyme resulted in cleavage of the recombinant protein into multiple fragments, as detected
by anti–ICAM-5 (D) or anti-Fc antibody (E). Interestingly, the two MMPs seemed to prefer different cleavage sites, although both cleave ICAM-5 in a similar
way, as depicted in F. The indicated cleaved fragments (CTF130, NTF80, and NTF40) were analyzed by mass spectrometry peptide mapping.
JCB • VOLUME 178 • NUMBER 4 • 2007 690
NMDA, are mainly responsible for the proteolytic cleavage
Because the expression and activity of MMP-9 have been
shown to be up-regulated in response to stimuli that induce NR
activation and LTP (Meighan et al., 2006; Nagy et al., 2006), we
tested the conditioned culture media from treated hippocampal
neurons and found increased levels of both active MMP-2 and -9
upon NMDA stimulation (Fig. S1, available at http://www
.jcb.org/cgi/content/full/jcb.200612097/DC1). We then used the
RNA interference technique to temporarily decrease the expres-
sion of MMP-2 or -9 in hippocampal neurons (Fig. 2 C). After
transfection into neurons, the MMP-2 and -9 siRNAs substan-
tially decreased the protein levels of MMP-2 and -9, respectively
(Fig. 2 C, right), with the concomitant inhibition of ICAM-5
cleavage from the transfected neurons (Fig. 2 C, left).
We further incubated the recombinant mouse ICAM-5 D1-
9-Fc protein with activated MMP-2 or -9 and studied the cleav-
age using anti–ICAM-5 polyclonal antibody 1000J (Fig. 2 D)
or anti-Fc polyclonal antibody (Fig. 2 E) in Western blots. The
cleaved proteins were then analyzed by matrix-assisted laser
desorption/ionization–time of fl ight (MALDI-TOF) peptide mass
mapping to identify the individual fragments (C-terminal frag-
ment [CTF] 130-Fc, N-terminal fragment [NTF] 80–85, and
NTF40; Fig. S2, available at http://www.jcb.org/cgi/content/
full/jcb.200612097/DC1). We found that both MMP-2 and -9 cut
at similar sites in the second and ninth ectodomains of ICAM-5,
as depicted in Fig. 2 F. Interestingly, they seemed to show selec-
tivity for the cleavage sites, as shown by the intensities of the
fragments they produced. The minor bands detected within 30–75
kD in Fig. 2 (D and E) may be caused by protein degradation.
Dissociation of ICAM-5 from the
cytoskeleton promotes its cleavage
Because the NRs and GluRs are known to regulate actin dynam-
ics, we examined whether the NR-promoted cleavage of ICAM-5
is dependent on its anchorage to actin fi laments. Interestingly,
we found that cytochalasin D and latrunculin A, which prevent
actin polymerization by capping the barbed end of actin fi la-
ments and monomeric actin, respectively, signifi cantly increased
the cleavage of ICAM-5 (Fig. 3, A and B). This indicates that
the association between ICAM-5 and actin fi laments may af-
fect the MMP-mediated proteolytic cleavage. Furthermore, we
found that treatment of hippocampal neurons with 20 μM NMDA
for 1 h resulted in a considerable release of ICAM-5 from the
cytoskeletal fraction into the soluble fraction of neuronal lysates
(Fig. 3, C and D). These fi ndings strongly support the hypothesis
that dissociation of ICAM-5 from the actin cytoskeleton pro-
motes its cleavage.
Figure 3. Dissociation of ICAM-5 from the
actin cytoskeleton promotes its cleavage. 14-DIV
neurons were left untreated or treated with cy-
tochalasin D or latrunculin A. The results from
Western blotting (A) and quantitative analysis
of the band intensities (B) showed that both
cytochalasin D and latrunculin A strongly in-
creased the cleavage of ICAM-5. Furthermore,
14-DIV neurons were treated with 20 μM
NMDA for 60 min before being lysed, and the
lysates were then separated by ultracentrifuga-
tion into soluble fractions, which contain dis-
solved membrane proteins and soluble cytosolic
proteins, and cytoskeletal fractions, which con-
tain the majority of actin fi laments. Detection
of ICAM-5 and actin showed dissociation of
ICAM-5 from the actin cytoskeleton after NMDA
treatment (C). (D) ICAM-5 levels in the soluble
and cytoskeletal fractions were quantifi ed.
Moreover, the transfected neural crest cell
lines, Paju-ICAM-5-fl and Paju-ICAM-5-∆CP,
which expressed full-length or cytoplasmic tail-
truncated ICAM-5, respectively, were analyzed
(E and F). Schematic drawings of the two
ICAM-5 constructs are shown. Paju-ICAM-5-∆CP
cells released a considerably larger amount of
the sICAM-5 than Paju-ICAM-5-fl cells (E and F).
Quantitation of actin was done as described
in Fig. 2 A. Error bars indicate mean ± SD.
*, P < 0.05.
ICAM-5 CLEAVAGE BY MMPS REGULATES SPINE DEVELOPMENT • TIAN ET AL.691
To further study this phenomenon, we compared Paju-
ICAM-5-fl and Paju-ICAM-5-∆CP cell lines, which express the
full-length ICAM-5 or the truncated ICAM-5 without the cyto-
plasmic domain (Fig. 3 E), respectively. We have shown that
truncation of the cytoplasmic tail of ICAM-5 results in a more
diffuse distribution of the molecule on the plasma membrane
and reduced colocalization with the subcortical actin fi laments
(Nyman-Huttunen et al., 2006). The cell surface expression level
of ICAM-5 on both cell lines was comparable (Fig. S3, available
Compared with Paju-ICAM-5-fl , Paju-ICAM-5-∆CP cells showed
a considerable increase of ICAM-5 cleavage (Fig. 3, E and F).
Abnormal ICAM-5 expression during
early postnatal development of MMP-2–
and MMP-9–defi cient mice
To further clarify the involvement of MMP-2 and -9 on ICAM-5
cleavage, we studied the expression of ICAM-5 in MMP-defi cient
mice at different postnatal developmental stages (from postnatal
1 d to 10 wk). ICAM-5 expression was increased in all MMP-
defi cient mice after birth, whereas L1CAM showed a decreased
expression (Fig. 4, A and C). Moreover, it is noteworthy that,
compared with the wild-type (WT) mice, the MMP-2−/− and
MMP-9−/− defi cient mice contained signifi cantly more full-
length ICAM-5 at the early postnatal stage (postnatal day 1).
However, the MMP-2−/−/MMP-9−/− double-defi cient mice ex-
pressed lower levels of ICAM-5 (Fig. 4, A and C). The changes
in the MMP-2−/−, MMP-9−/−, and MMP-2−/−/MMP-9−/− double-
defi cient mice tended to disappear after 1 wk postnatally, ex-
cept in the MMP-2−/−/MMP-9−/− double-defi cient mice, where
ICAM-5 expression still remained slightly but signifi cantly
lower than in the WT mice (Fig. 4, A and C). Studies on the en-
zymatic activities of MMP-2 and -9 by gelatinase zymography
verifi ed the identity of the respective defi cient mice (Fig. 4 B)
and indicated that the activity of MMP-2 in both the MMP-9−/−
defi cient mice and the WT mice decreased during the postnatal
development. However, there seemed to be some compensating
up-regulation of the proMMP-9 level in the adult MMP-2−/−
Figure 4. ICAM-5 expression is abnormal
during early postnatal development of MMP-
2– and MMP-9–defi cient mice. The forebrains
from postnatal (1 d to 10 wk) MMP-defi cient
and WT mice were homogenized, and the
membrane fractions were obtained by ultra-
centrifugation. The results from Western blot-
ting (A) and quantitative analysis of the band
intensities (C) both showed that in postnatal 1-d
mice, the expression levels of ICAM-5 were
signifi cantly higher in MMP-2−/− and MMP-
9−/− mice than in WT mice, whereas in MMP-
2−/−/MMP-9−/− double-defi cient mice, the
expression was lower (A and C, left). Error
bars indicate mean ± SD. *, P < 0.05. After
the fi rst postnatal week, ICAM-5 expression
was increased in all mice, and the difference
was not as obvious as before, although a con-
siderably lower amount was still detected in
the double-defi cient mice (A and C, middle
and right). In comparison, the expression of
L1CAM gradually decreased during the post-
natal period, and little difference between the
defi cient and WT mice was observed. *, P <
0.05. (B) Gelatinase zymography confi rmed
the identity of each type of mice and showed
that the activity of MMP-2 considerably de-
creased during the postnatal development of
JCB • VOLUME 178 • NUMBER 4 • 2007 692
deficient mice, which was not obvious in the younger mice
(Fig. 4 B, right). Similar fi ndings have been reported (Esparza
et al., 2004).
Our histological analysis of the brains of MMP-2– and
MMP-9–defi cient mice showed that both, especially the MMP-2–
defi cient mice, had abnormal cerebral cortical and hippocampal
structures. The cortical layers 2–3 seemed to have increased
number of cells (Fig. S4, available at http://www.jcb.org/cgi/
content/full/jcb.200612097/DC1). Similar fi ndings have been
reported in the cerebellar cortex of MMP-9–defi cient mice,
which showed an abnormal accumulation of granular precursors
in the external granular layer (Vaillant et al., 2003). We believe
that the increased level of ICAM-5 in MMP-2–defi cient mice is
not due to the increased number of neurons in the cortex, be-
cause we carefully controlled the protein load per sample and
monitored the amount of loaded actin during Western blotting.
ICAM-5 is enriched in fi lopodia and thin
spines but not in mature mushroom spines
Dendritic spines occur in a range of sizes and in a variety of
shapes, commonly classified as thin, stubby, and mushroom
(Hering and Sheng, 2001; Yuste and Bonhoeffer, 2004). There is
a strong correlation between the size of the spine head and the
strength of the synapse, presumably related to the higher levels
of GluRs in larger spines (Kasai et al., 2003). There is also evi-
dence that the smaller weaker spines preferentially undergo
LTP, whereas larger spines are more stable and show less plas-
ticity (Matsuzaki et al., 2004). Such observations have led to
the view that thin spines represent “plasticity spines” and large
mushrooms “memory” spines (Kasai et al., 2003).
ICAM-5 was earlier found to be mainly expressed in
dendritic fi lopodia, and its expression inversely correlated with
synapse maturation (Matsuno et al., 2006). To further clarify
whether ICAM-5 is distinctively expressed in spines at differ-
ent maturation stages, we studied the dendritic protrusions of
10–17-DIV hippocampal neurons. Such neurons contain vari-
ous dendritic protrusions, including fi lopodia, small-head thin
spines, and large-head mushroom spines. The dendritic fi ne
structures were visualized by transfection of the EGFP into the
12-DIV neurons. The overlapping of immunostained ICAM-5
with EGFP was measured by calculation of the Pearson’s colo-
calization effi ciency (Fig. 5). Our result showed that ICAM-5
was more abundantly expressed in fi lopodia (Fig. 5 A, arrow)
and thin spines (Fig. 5 A, arrowheads) but much less in the
mushroom spines (Fig. 5 A, asterisks), particularly when the
heads of the two different types of spines were compared (Fig.
5 A). These data suggest that ICAM-5 may play a more active
role in the “plastic” thin spines than in the more “stable” mush-
Activation of the NRs decreases
the colocalization of ICAM-5 with F-actin
Because we found that activation of the NRs led to dissociation
of membrane-bound ICAM-5 from the actin cytoskeleton, it be-
came important to study ICAM-5 and F-actin distributions in
neurons upon activation of NRs. We treated the 10-DIV hippo-
campal neurons with 5 μM NMDA and triple stained the neurons
for the ICAM-5 cytoplasmic tail, the F-actin, and the postsyn-
aptic density (PSD) 95 protein (Fig. 6 A). Treatment of hippo-
campal neurons with NMDA resulted in reduced colocalization
of ICAM-5 with F-actin not only along dendritic shafts (Fig. 6,
A and B) but also in thin and mushroom spines (Fig. 6 A, arrow-
heads and asterisks, respectively). The reduced colocalization
of ICAM-5 with F-actin was partially counteracted by pretreat-
ment of neurons with the NR antagonist MK801 (Fig. 6, A and B).
NMDA treatment led to a signifi cantly increased amount of
mushroom spines (Fig. 6 C).
Figure 5. ICAM-5 is enriched in thin spines rather than in mushroom
spines. (A) 12-DIV hippocampal neurons were transfected with EGFP and
immunostained with anti–ICAM-5cp polyclonal antibody. ICAM-5 was
strongly expressed in dendritic shafts. In the protrusions along the shaft,
ICAM-5 was clearly located in fi lopodia (arrow) and thin spines (arrow-
heads), but much less in mushroom spines (asterisks), especially when
the heads of the two different types of spines were compared (A). The
colocalization of ICAM-5 with EGFP in different protrusions was ana-
lyzed and represented by Pearson’s coeffi ciency (Rr). Mushroom spines
gave the least colocalization degree, whereas thin spines and fi lopodia
gave higher values (B). Error bars indicate mean ± SD. ***, P < 0.001.
Bars, 10 μm.
ICAM-5 CLEAVAGE BY MMPS REGULATES SPINE DEVELOPMENT • TIAN ET AL.693
The NR-induced cleavage of ICAM-5
is blocked by MMP inhibitors along
dendritic shafts but not in thin spines
Because we found that NMDA and AMPA reduced anchorage
of ICAM-5 to the actin cytoskeleton and promoted its cleavage
through MMP-2 and -9, these facts could be the reasons for the
exclusion of ICAM-5 from maturating spines. Therefore, it was
important to study whether the ICAM-5 cleavage from spines,
as a result of activation of the NRs, could be blocked by MMP
inhibitors. For this purpose, we studied the EGFP-transfected
17-DIV hippocampal neurons that were treated with 5 μM
NMDA and various MMP inhibitors (Fig. 7 A). To measure the
effects of MMP inhibitors more accurately, ICAM-5 was visu-
alized by immunostaining with a mAb that recognizes its extra-
cellular region. We found that NMDA reduced the localization of
ICAM-5 in both the dendritic shafts and thin spines in 17-DIV
neurons (Fig. 7 A), similar to what was observed in younger
neurons (Fig. 6). Blocking the NRs with MK801 clearly recov-
ered the localization of ICAM-5 in both shafts and thin spines.
When various MMP inhibitors, including the general inhibitor
GM6001, the MMP-2/9–specifi c peptide inhibitor CTT, and the
inhibitor II, were applied together with NMDA, most ICAM-5
along dendritic shafts was recovered (Fig. 7 A). However, the
recovery of ICAM-5 in thin spines, especially in spine heads,
was much less effi cient by inhibition of MMPs, as compared
with the NR antagonist MK801 (Fig. 7, A and B). This may be
due to the fact that ICAM-5 was more vulnerable for MMPs in
spine heads, which contain highly motile and dynamic actin fi l-
aments, as compared with the shafts that contain a more stable
actin cytoskeleton. We further found that pretreatment with the
MMP-2/9 inhibitor II signifi cantly decreased the number of
spines induced by NMDA (Fig. 7 C).
WT and ICAM-5–defi cient neurons respond
differently to NMDA stimulation
To further study the function of ICAM-5 in thin spines, we com-
pared the response of WT and ICAM-5−/− hippocampal neu-
rons to NMDA stimulation. The EGFP-transfected 17-DIV fi xed
neurons were fi rst immunostained for ICAM-5 and PSD95.
ICAM-5 immunostaining verifi ed the identity of ICAM-5−/− neu-
rons (Fig. 8 A). In addition, the size of mushroom spines in
ICAM-5−/− neurons seemed to be larger than those in WT neurons,
Figure 6. NMDA decreases the colocalization of ICAM-5 with F-actin in spines. (A) 10-DIV hippocampal neurons were left untreated or treated for 6 h with
5 μM NMDA, with or without a 1-h pretreatment with the NR antagonist MK801. The neurons were then triple stained for ICAM-5 (green), F-actin (red),
and PSD95 (blue). ICAM-5 colocalized with F-actin in dendritic fi lopodia (arrows) and thin spines (arrowheads), but much less in mushroom spines (asterisks).
(B) The degree of colocalization between ICAM-5 and F-actin was analyzed after the above treatments. Note that NMDA signifi cantly decreased the
colocalization of ICAM-5 with F-actin, which was partially counteracted by MK801. (C) The effects of NMDA on formation of thin and mushroom spines
were quantifi ed. Error bars indicate mean ± SD. **, P < 0.01. Bars, 10 μm.
JCB • VOLUME 178 • NUMBER 4 • 2007 694
Figure 7. MMP inhibitors prevent the NMDA-induced ICAM-5 cleavage in dendritic shafts but not in spines. (A) 17-DIV hippocampal neurons were trans-
fected with EGFP and either left untreated or treated for 6 h with 5 μM NMDA, with or without a 1-h pretreatment with 20 μM MK801 or MMP inhibitors.
The neurons were then double stained for ICAM-5 by a mAb against the ectodomains of rat ICAM-5 (red) and PSD95 (blue). (B) The colocalization of
ICAM-5 with EGFP in dendritic shafts or thin spine heads was measured. The localization of ICAM-5 in both dendritic shafts and thin spine heads (A, arrow-
heads) were signifi cantly reduced by NMDA, which was effi ciently counteracted by MK801. The MMP broad-spectrum inhibitor GM6001, in comparson
to its negative control compound, signifi cantly blocked the NMDA-induced reduction of ICAM-5 localization in dendritic shafts. Similar effects were found
with the MMP-2/9–specifi c inhibitors, CTT peptide, and MMP-2/9 inhibitor II. However, none of the MMP inhibitors gave substantial recovery of ICAM-5
in thin spine heads. Furthermore, MMP-2/9 inhibitor II signifi cantly blocked the NMDA-induced formation of spines (C). The experiment was repeated three
times with similar results. Error bars indicate mean ± SD. **, P < 0.01; ***, P < 0.001. Bars, 10 μm.
ICAM-5 CLEAVAGE BY MMPS REGULATES SPINE DEVELOPMENT • TIAN ET AL.695
which was similar to an earlier report (Matsuno et al., 2006). To
monitor the growth of thin spines in these neurons, we studied
the 15-DIV EGFP-transfected neurons with a time-lapse fl uores-
cence microscope. The neurons were treated with 20 μM NMDA
for 1 h with or without a 1-h pretreatment with MK801, and
monitored for 1 h. We found that thin spines in WT neurons
showed increased growth of spine heads in response to NMDA
stimulation. In contrast, spine heads in ICAM-5−/− neurons
seemed to be retracting (Fig. 8 B, arrowheads). Spine numbers
were increased in WT neurons, but not in ICAM-5−/− neurons
Figure 8. ICAM-5 defi ciency results in re-
traction of spine heads in response to NMDA
stimulation. (A) The responses of WT and
ICAM-5−/− hippocampal neurons to NMDA
stimulation were compared. To verify the iden-
tity of ICAM-5–defi cient neurons, the EGFP-
transfected 17-DIV fi xed neurons of the two types
were immunostained for ICAM-5 and PSD95.
The size of mushroom spines in ICAM-5−/−
neurons seemed to be larger than those in WT
neurons. (B) The 15-DIV EGFP-transfected neu-
rons were then monitored with a time-lapse
fl uorescence microscope. The neurons were
treated by 20 μM NMDA for 1 h with or with-
out a 1-h pretreatment with 20 μM MK801
and recorded during the 1-h period of NMDA
stimulation. Thin spines of WT neurons showed
increased growth of spine heads in response
to NMDA stimulation within 1 h. In contrast,
spine heads in ICAM-5−/− neurons seemed to
be retracted during the 1-h treatment of NMDA
(B, arrowheads). Intriguingly, mushroom spines
in ICAM-5−/− neurons respond positively toward
NMDA stimulation, with increased size of spine
heads (B, asterisks). (C) Spine numbers were
increased in WT neurons but not in ICAM-5−/−
neurons after treatment with 5 μM NMDA for
8 h. The experiment was repeated three times
with similar results. Error bars indicate mean ±
SD. *, P < 0.05; **, P < 0.01. Bars, 3 μm.
JCB • VOLUME 178 • NUMBER 4 • 2007 696
after treatment with 5 μM NMDA for 8 h (Fig. 8 C). These data
indicate that ICAM-5 is important for the motility of thin spines.
Interestingly, we also found that mushroom spines in ICAM-5−/−
neurons respond positively toward NMDA stimulation, with
increased size of spine heads (Fig. 8 B, asterisks).
sICAM-5 promotes dendritic
fi lopodia elongation
To study functions of the sICAM-5, we cultured the EGFP-
transfected 9-DIV WT and ICAM-5−/− neurons in the presence
of 10 μg/ml recombinant sICAM-5 D1-4-Fc protein for 3 d.
The neurons were then immunostained for ICAM-5 and micro-
tubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2; Fig. 9 A). sICAM-5 D1-
4-Fc protein induced a signifi cantly higher number of fi lopodia
from the WT neurons, compared with the ICAM-5−/− neurons
(Fig. 9, B and C). The fi lopodial length of WT neurons also sig-
nifi cantly increased in the presence of sICAM-5 D1-4-Fc pro-
tein, as compared with the ICAM-5−/− neurons (Fig. 9 D).
ICAM-5 has been shown to be gradually excluded from mature
synapses, but the mechanism was not elucidated (Matsuno
et al., 2006). Here, we show that activation of the NRs induced
cleavage of ICAM-5 (Fig. 1), which evidently is mediated by
active MMP-2 and -9 (Fig. 2). The association of ICAM-5 with
the actin cytoskeleton was decreased in dendritic spines in re-
sponse to activation of the NRs, which affected the ICAM-5
cleavage (Figs. 3 and 6). ICAM-5 defi ciency led to the retrac-
tion of spine heads and a decreased number of spines in re-
sponse to NMDA stimulation (Fig. 8). sICAM-5 protein increased
the number and length of fi lopodia in WT neurons but not in
ICAM-5–defi cient neurons (Fig. 9).
Combining these data with the earlier fi ndings on ICAM-5
(Tian et al., 2000; Matsuno et al., 2006; Nyman-Huttunen et al.,
2006), we present a schematic model depicting the NR-mediated
spine development in which ICAM-5 is involved (Fig. 10).
NMDA or AMPA stimulation causes increased MMP-2 and -9
activities in neurons and neighboring glial cells (not depicted),
resulting in cleavage of the ectodomains of ICAM-5 from im-
mature nascent spines. The reduced membrane level of ICAM-5
may facilitate local membrane and cytoskeleton reorganization,
and thereby morphological remodeling of dendritic spines.
We have shown that ICAM-5 promotes dendritic elonga-
tion through homophilic interaction (Tian et al., 2000). Our cur-
rent data further indicate that the increased number and length
of fi lopodia from WT neurons is mediated by the homophilic
interaction of sICAM-5 D1-4-Fc protein with membrane-bound
Figure 9. sICAM-5 promotes dendritic fi lopodia elongation. 9-DIV EGFP-transfected WT and ICAM-5−/− hippocampal neurons were incubated with
10 μg/ml soluble recombinant ICAM-5 D1-4-Fc protein or control mIgG for 72 h. The neurons were then double stained for ICAM-5 (A, red) and MAP-2
(A, blue). Compared with mIgG control protein, sICAM-5 D1-4-Fc protein induced signifi cantly more fi lopodia from WT neurons, but not from ICAM-5−/−
neurons (B and C). The fi lopodial length of WT neurons, but not ICAM-5−/− neurons, also signifi cantly increased in the presence of sICAM-5 D1-4-Fc protein (D).
The experiment was repeated three times with similar results. Error bars indicate mean ± SD. *, P < 0.05. Bar, 10 μm.
ICAM-5 CLEAVAGE BY MMPS REGULATES SPINE DEVELOPMENT • TIAN ET AL.697
ICAM-5. These data extend our knowledge on functions of
ICAM-5 in the context of the NR-regulated dendritic develop-
ment. Indeed, blocking the ionotropic glutamate receptors has
been demonstrated to result in an ?35% decrease in the density
and turnover of shaft fi lopodia, whereas focal glutamate appli-
cation leads to a 75% increase in the length of shaft fi lopodia
(Portera-Cailliau et al., 2003).
ICAM-5 has been postulated to be a negative regulator of
fi lopodia-to-spine transition (Matsuno et al., 2006). In this sense,
the promoted cleavage by NRs implies an important mechanism
for a transformation of immature spines toward maturation.
Moreover, the cooperative performance of ICAM-5 together
with the NRs and MMPs may fi ne-tune the process of spine re-
modeling. The phenomenon that thin spines in ICAM-5−/− neu-
rons retracted in response to NMDA treatment (Fig. 8) seems to
be contradictory to the fact that ICAM-5−/− neurons have even-
tually larger mature spines (Matsuno et al., 2006). As the ex-
pression of ICAM-5 is the lowest in mature spines, we suspect
that the eventual increase in size of mature spine heads is either
not directly ICAM-5 related or resulted from secondary effects
of ICAM-5 defi ciency, which needs further clarifi cation.
We provide several lines of evidence that MMP-2 and -9
are responsible for the proteolytic processing of ICAM-5, lead-
ing to the production of the sICAM-5. First of all, we detected a
steady-state cleavage of ICAM-5 from the cultured primary
neurons, which was increased by NMDA or AMPA stimula-
tion (Fig. 1). As earlier shown, MMP-9 gene expression is up-
regulated in response to extracellular stimuli, like growth factors,
cytokines, and neurotransmitters, whereas there is lack of tran-
scriptional regulation of MMP-2 expression (Chakraborti et al.,
2003; Meighan et al., 2006; Nagy et al., 2006). These facts sug-
gest that MMP-2 is involved in the basal processing of ICAM-5
and MMP-9 in the activity-dependent cleavage of ICAM-5. In
addition, NMDA-induced ICAM-5 cleavage was effi ciently pre-
vented by various MMP-2 and -9 inhibitors and siRNAs (Fig. 2).
Abnormally high expression levels of ICAM-5 were found in
the newborn MMP-2– or MMP-9–defi cient mice (Fig. 4 A),
supporting the fi nding of involvement of MMP-2 and -9 in
ICAM-5 proteolytic processing.
Interestingly, the difference in ICAM-5 expression be-
tween the MMP-2– or MMP-9–defi cient mice and the WT mice
gradually disappeared during postnatal brain development (Fig.
4 A), which may partially be due to the decrease of MMP-2 en-
zymatic activity (Fig. 4 B) with the simultaneous increase of
ICAM-5 expression during the later postnatal period. In contrast
to ICAM-5, another important CAM, L1CAM, did not show
changes in the expression levels in the MMP-2– or MMP-9–
defi cient mice as compared with the WT mice. Furthermore,
L1CAM showed a gradual decrease in expression during the
postnatal period (Fig. 4 A), indicating a shift of roles between
the two molecules during brain maturation.
An earlier report on MMP-2–defi cient mice has shown that
MMP-9 activity is up-regulated (Esparza et al., 2004). Here, we
found a similar phenomenon in the brains of adult MMP-2–
defi cient mice (Fig. 4 B). The expression of ICAM-5 in the MMP
double-defi cient mice was reduced during the early postnatal
period (Fig. 4 A), which may be due to compensating effects of
other proteases. Another possibility could be that protein synthe-
sis is defi cient in these mice because of developmental defects.
We found that the cytoskeletal anchorage of membrane-
bound ICAM-5 was critical for controlling its proteolytic cleav-
age by MMPs. Disruption of actin fi laments by cytochalasin D
or latrunculin A, or deletion of the cytoplasmic tail of ICAM-5,
signifi cantly promoted its cleavage. Activation of the NRs re-
sulted in dissociation of ICAM-5 from the actin cytoskeleton.
The actin cytoskeleton determines the shape, motility, and sta-
bility of dendritic spines and provides the substrates for the Rho
family small GTPases, which are the key regulators of actin poly-
merization and spine motility (Scott and Luo, 2001; Calabrese
et al., 2006). The NRs and GluRs have been shown to promote
Figure 10. Schematic model of ICAM-5 involvement in spine
maturation and fi lopodia elongation through activation of gluta-
mate receptors. The activation of NRs or GluRs in neurons induces
increased MMP-2 and -9 activities, which cleave the ectodomains
of ICAM-5 from nascent spines, and results in dissociation of
ICAM-5 from the actin cytoskeleton. The remaining CTF of ICAM-5
may compete and disrupt the anchorage of full-length ICAM-5 to
the actin cytoskeleton, which further promotes its cleavage from
spines by MMPs. Reduced membrane levels of ICAM-5 may facili-
tate local membrane and cytoskeleton reorganization, which induces
the maturation of dendritic spines. Concomitantly, the sICAM-5
fragments produced by MMPs can bind in homophilic manner to
the full-length ICAM-5 in the neighborhood fi lopodia and promote
JCB • VOLUME 178 • NUMBER 4 • 2007 698
formation and stabilization of dendritic spines, respectively, by
inhibiting the actin-based protrusive activity from the spine
heads (Fischer et al., 2000) and increasing the turnover time of
dynamic actin in spines (Star et al., 2002). Inhibition of actin
motility caused spines to round up so that spine morphology
became more stable and regular (Fischer et al., 2000). These
facts indicate that the cytoplasmic part of ICAM-5 participates
in the NR-dependent morphological change of spines by exert-
ing a regulatory role on MMP-mediated ICAM-5 cleavage.
We have shown that ICAM-5 associates with the actin fi l-
aments via α-actinin and promotes neuritic outgrowth (Nyman-
Huttunen et al., 2006). The NR subunit (NR2B) has been shown
to interact with α-actinin (Wyszynski et al., 1997; Husi et al.,
2000). α-Actinin has been implicated in the regulation of spine
morphology (Nakagawa et al., 2004). Therefore, it is plausible
that the NR may directly compete with ICAM-5 for interaction
with actin fi laments (Fig. 10).
The role of MMPs in the normal brain development is
gradually becoming apparent (Dzwonek et al., 2004; Luo, 2005;
Ethell and Ethell, 2007). However, little is known concerning
the effects of MMPs on dendritic spine development, even though
both their ECM and non-ECM substrates in the brain have
been found to be important for spine formation and remodeling
(Ethell and Pasquale, 2005). Recently, MMP-7 (Bilousova et al.,
2006), MMP-9 (Meighan et al., 2006; Nagy et al., 2006), and
MMP-24 (Monea et al., 2006) were shown to be involved in
dendritic fi lopodia elongation or synaptic remodeling. Particu-
larly, MMP-9–defi cient mice show impaired LTP and behavioral
impairments in hippocampus-dependent associative learning
(Nagy et al., 2006), suggesting the potential importance of MMP
on dendritic spine development.
Although mutant mice lacking individual MMPs have
been generated (Itoh et al., 1997; Vu et al., 1998), no obvious
defects in embryogenesis have been reported. In particular,
MMP-2–defi cient mice seemed to be healthy and fertile (Itoh
et al., 1997), although they exhibited defects in bone metabo-
lism (Inoue et al., 2006). We found that MMP-2–defi cient mice
seemed to have an increased number of cells in the cerebral
cortex, especially in layers 2–3 (Fig. S4). Similar fi ndings have
been reported in the cerebellar cortex of MMP-9–defi cient
mice, which showed an abnormal accumulation of granular pre-
cursors in the external granular layer (Vaillant et al., 2003).
Thus, our fi ndings on MMP-2–defi cient mice deserve more careful
and detailed study in the future.
In summary, we have defi ned a physiological mechanism
for the proteolytic processing of ICAM-5 by MMP-2 and -9,
and the importance of its cleavage on regulation of dendritic
spine development. Our results will help elucidate the functions
of both MMPs and adhesion molecules on dendritic develop-
ment, which is still poorly understood.
Materials and methods
Reagents and antibodies
AMPA, DNQX, gelatin, MK-801, NMDA, and poly-L-lysine were obtained
from Sigma-Aldrich. Cytochalasin D, Latrunculin A, GM6001, GM6001
Neg. Ctrl, MMP-2/MMP-9 inhibitor II, and MMP-9 inhibitor I were ob-
tained from Calbiochem. ProMMP-2 and -9 were obtained from Roche.
CTT and CTTW/A peptides were gifts from E. Koivunen (Division of Biochem-
istry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; Koivunen et al., 1999).
The pAb anti–ICAM-5cp against the cytoplasmic tail of mouse
ICAM-5 was a gift from Y. Yoshihara (Brain Science Institute/Institute of
Physical and Chemical Research, Wako City, Japan). The pAb 1000J and
the mAb 127E, both against the ectodomain of rat ICAM-5, were gifts from
P. Kilgannon (ICOS Corporation, Seattle, WA). The anti-L1CAM mAb,
anti–MAP-2 mAb, and the anti-PSD95 mAb and pAb were obtained from
Abcam. The anti-actin pAb was obtained from Sigma-Aldrich. The pAbs
against MMP-2 and -9 were obtained from Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc.,
and Chemicon, respectively. A mAb negative control was also obtained
from Chemicon. Peroxidase-conjugated anti-mouse, anti-rabbit, and anti-
human pAbs were obtained from GE Healthcare. Alexa488-, Cy3-, or
Cy5-conjugated anti-mouse and anti-rabbit pAbs and Cy3-conjugated
phalloidin were obtained from Invitrogen.
MMP-2–, MMP-9–, and ICAM-5–defi cient mice were generated by gene tar-
geting (Itoh et al., 1997; Vu et al., 1998; Nakamura et al., 2001). All ani-
mals were backcrossed at least six generations into a homogenous C57BL/6
genetic background and were bred as homozygous lines. Mice defi cient in
both MMP-2 and -9 were obtained by intercrossing mice that were heterozy-
gous for both mutations. All experiments were approved by and performed
according to the guidelines of the local animal ethical committee.
Paju-Mock, Paju-ICAM-5-fl , and Paju-ICAM-5-∆CP cell lines and hippocam-
pal neurons were prepared as described earlier (Nyman-Huttunen et al.,
2006). The CHO cell line stably expressing ICAM-5 D1- 4-Fc recombinant
protein, a gift from J. Casasnovas (Universidad Autonoma, Madrid, Spain),
was grown as recommended (Casasnovas et al., 1998).
Cell stimulation and sICAM-5 detection
During the 3-wk period of in vitro cultivation of hippocampal neurons, the
culture media were replaced with HBSS with 1.8 mM CaCl2 buffer for 16 h
on days 3, 7, 14, and 21. The 14-DIV hippocampal neurons were treated
for 16 h with 5 μM NMDA or AMPA, with or without a 2-h pretreatment with
20 μM MK-801 or DNQX, respectively, in HBSS/Ca2+ buffer. When MMP
inhibitors were applied, 20–25 μM chemical inhibitors or 100 μM peptide
inhibitors were used together with NMDA. Paju-ICAM-5-fl and Paju-ICAM-5-
∆CP cells were incubated in serum-free culture media for 18 h. Then, 1-ml ali-
quots of the conditioned culture media were concentrated 20-fold by Vivaspin
centrifugal concentrators (Sartorius Ltd.), and the cells were stripped off. All
samples were suspended in Laemmli sample buffer for Western blotting.
9-DIV rat hippocampal neurons were transfected with 50 nM predesigned
siRNAs against rat MMP-2, MMP-9, or negative control siRNA (Ambion)
using Lipofectamine RNAiMAX reagent (Invitrogen) for 48 h. The culture
media were changed into HBSS/Ca2+ buffer for 16 h and then collected
and concentrated for Western blotting.
Crude brain membrane preparations
Forebrains from the postnatal 1 d (n = 4), 1 wk (n = 2), and 10 wk (n = 2)
MMP-defi cient or WT mice were homogenized with buffer containing 0.32 M
sucrose, 10 mM Hepes, pH 7.4, 2 mM EDTA, 50 mM NaF, 1 mM Na2VO4,
and 1× protease cocktail inhibitors, using a glass-tefl on homogenizer. The
homogenates were then centrifuged at 1,000 g, and the supernatants
were centrifuged at 50,000 rpm to separate the membrane fractions from
the soluble fractions. The membrane fractions were suspended in lysis buffer
(1% Triton X-100, 50 mM Hepes, pH 7.4, 2 mM EDTA, and protease/
phosphatase inhibitors). For Western blotting, 20 μg of protein from each
sample was suspended in Laemmli sample buffer.
14-DIV hippocampal neurons were either left untreated or treated with 20 μM
NMDA for 60 min, and cells were then lysed in lysis buffer. Lysates were
centrifuged at 5,000 rpm to get rid of the nuclear fractions, and the super-
natants were further centrifuged at 100,000 rpm for 2 h at +2°C to sepa-
rate the cytoskeletal fractions from the soluble fractions, and each sample
was suspended in Laemmli sample buffer for Western blotting.
Recombinant protein purifi cation
Recombinant human ICAM-5 D1-4-Fc and mouse ICAM-5 D1-9-Fc proteins
were purifi ed from cell culture supernatants by affi nity chromatography
with protein A–Sepharose and ÄKTAprime system (GE Healthcare).
ICAM-5 CLEAVAGE BY MMPS REGULATES SPINE DEVELOPMENT • TIAN ET AL.699
In vitro cleavage and detection of recombinant ICAM-5-Fc protein
ProMMP-2 and -9 were activated with p-aminophenylmercuric acetate and
trypsin, respectively, and 40 ng of activated enzymes was incubated with
2 μg ICAM-5 D1-9-Fc protein in 50 μl enzyme buffer (20 mM Hepes,
150 mM NaCl, 0.2 mM CaCl2, 1 mM MnCl2, and 1 μM ZnCl2) at 37°C for
18 h. 5 μl of the enzyme-substrate mixtures were suspended in sample buffer.
Samples were separated by 4–12% SDS-PAGE (Invitrogen) and transferred
to nitrocellulose membranes (Whatman GmbH). After blocking, mem-
branes were incubated with anti–ICAM-5 pAb 1000J, anti–ICAM-5cp pAb,
anti-L1CAM mAb, anti-actin pAb, or horseradish peroxidase–conjugated
anti-human pAb, respectively, followed by peroxidase-conjugated secondary
antibodies. Membranes were washed with TBS and 0.05% Tween 20
after each incubation and developed with an ECL kit (GE Healthcare).
Band intensity was quantifi ed by the software Tina 2.09c (Raytest).
20 μl of 60-fold–concentrated serum-free cell culture media or 50 μg of
protein from brain membrane fractions was suspended in sample buffer
and separated by 8% SDS−PAGE containing 0.2% gelatin. Gels were
then washed with 2.5% Triton X-100 to remove SDS and incubated in sub-
strate buffer (50 mM Tris, pH 8, and 5 mM CaCl2) for 18 h at 37°C, fol-
lowed by staining with 0.5% Coomassie blue.
About 1 μg ICAM-5 D1-9-Fc fragments after the MMP-2 or -9 digestion
were separated by 4–12% SDS-PAGE (Invitrogen), silver stained, and
analyzed in the Protein Chemistry Unit of the Institute of Biotechnology,
University of Helsinki. The bands of interest were cut out, reduced with
dithiothreitol, alkylated with iodoacetamide, and “in-gel” digested with
trypsin (Sequencing Grade Modifi ed Trypsin; V5111; Promega). The re-
covered peptides were, after desalting using μ-C18 ZipTip (Millipore),
subjected to MALDI-TOF mass spectrometric analysis. MALDI-TOF mass
spectra for mass fi ngerprinting and MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectra for iden-
tifi cation by fragment ion analysis were obtained using an Ultrafl ex TOF/
TOF instrument (Bruker-Daltonik GmbH). Protein identifi cation with the gen-
erated data was performed using Mascot Peptide Mass Fingerprint and
MS/MS Ion Search programs.
Paju-Mock, Paju-ICAM-5-fl , or Paju-ICAM-5-∆CP cells were incubated with
5 μg/ml mAb TL-3 and then with Alexa488-conjugated anti-mouse pAb
(Invitrogen). Cells were washed with PBS after each incubation. Samples
were analyzed with FACScan and CellQuest software (Becton Dickinson).
Immunofl uorescence microscopy
Hippocampal neurons were transfected with pEGFP-N1 plasmid using Lipo-
fectamine 2000 reagent (Invitrogen) at 8–9 DIV and cultured until 12–17
DIV. For fi lopodia elongation assay, the 9-DIV neurons were treated twice
with 10 μg/ml of recombinant ICAM-5 D1-4-Fc protein or control mIgG for
72 h. The 10–12-DIV neurons were then fi xed with 4% paraformaldehyde
and permeabilized with 0.1% Triton X-100. After blocking with 2% BSA in
PBS, neurons were stained with pAb anti–ICAM-5cp plus Alexa488- or
Cy3-conjugated anti-rabbit IgG, Cy3-conjugated phalloidin, anti-PSD95
mAb, or anti-MAP-2 mAb plus Cy5-conjugated anti-mouse IgG. The 17-DIV
neurons were left untreated or treated with 5 μM NMDA with or without a
2-h pretreatment with 20 μM MK801 or MMP inhibitors in HBSS/Ca2+
buffer for 6 h. The neurons were fi xed, permeabilized, and blocked after-
ward, and stained with mAb 127E plus Cy3-conjugated anti-mouse IgG
and anti-PSD95 pAb plus Cy5-conjugated anti-rabbit IgG. The fl uorescent
images were taken with a confocal laser-scanning microscope under 63×
magnifi cation (TCS SP2 AOBS, HCX PL APO 63×O/1.4-0.6; Leica) using
a charge-coupled device camera (Leica) and the LCSLite software. Four to
fi ve neurons per sample were randomly imaged for each experiment. At
least three proximal dendritic segments (?60 μm per segment) were ana-
lyzed for each neuron. Dendritic fi lopodia (>2 μm long with pointy tip),
thin spines (0.5–2.5 μm long with bulbous tip and <0.1 μm thick in neck),
or mushroom-shaped spines (0.5–2.0 μm long and 0.3–0.6 μm wide in
head) were quantifi ed and presented as numbers per 100 μm dendritic
length. For live imaging, 14-DIV EGFP-transfected neurons were treated
with 20 μM NMDA in HBSS/Ca2+ buffer, with or without pretreatment with
20 μM MK801 for 1 h, in 5% CO2/10% O2 at 37°C, and monitored with
an inverted fl uorescent microscope under 60× magnifi cation (IX-71; UP-
lanSApo 60×W/1.2; Olympus) using an electron multiplying charge-
coupled device camera (DV885; Andor Technology) and the TillVision
software (Till Photonics GmbH). Images were processed with Photoshop and
ImagePro plus. Pearson’s coeffi cients were used for colocalization analysis.
Brains from 8-wk-old mice were fi xed with 4% paraformaldehyde in PBS
and embedded in paraffi n wax. Coronal paraffi n sections 10 μm thick
were cut and mounted on glass slides. Brain sections were stained with
cresyl violet and visualized with a light microscope (IX71; Olympus).
Images were processed with Photoshop (Adobe).
t test was used to compare different groups of data.
Online supplemental material
Fig. S1 shows that NMDA increases the expression and activities of MMP-2
and -9. Fig. S2 shows peptide mass mapping of MMP-cleaved ICAM-5-Fc
proteins. Fig. S3 shows fl ow cytometry analysis of transfected Paju cell lines.
Fig. S4 shows abnormal cortical and hippocampal development in MMP-2–
defi cient mice. Online supplemental material is available at http://www
We thank Dr. Yoshihiro Yoshihara for providing the anti–ICAM-5cp pAb;
Dr. Patrick Kilgannon for rat ICAM-5 mAbs and pAb 1000J; Dr. Erkki
Koivunen for MMP-inhibitory peptides; Dr. Jose Casasnovas for CHO cell
lines; Dr. Nisse Kalkkinen for peptide mass mapping; Seija Lehto, Leena
Kuoppasalmi, Outi Nikkilä, Erja Huttu, and Maria Aatonen for technical assis-
tance; and Yvonne Heinilä for secretarial help.
This study was supported by the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation, the Acad-
emy of Finland, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Magnus Ehrnrooth Founda-
tion, the Finnish Cancer Society, the Liv och Hälsa Foundation, and the Institute
for the Promotion of Innovation through Science and Technology in Flanders
Submitted: 18 December 2006
Accepted: 13 July 2007
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