ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs) proteinases are involved in a variety of biological processes such as angiogenesis, cancer and arthritis. ADAMTSs appears to be responsible for the cleavage of proteoglycans in several tissues including brain and cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) maintains the integrity of the brain extracellular matrix and major inhibitory contributors for glial scar and neural plasticity. The activity of aggrecanases in the central nervous system (CNS)has been reported. ADAMTSs are an enzyme degrading CSPGs in the brain. However, there is a little knowledge regarding ADAMTSs in the CNS. We investigated the expression levels of ADAMTSs mRNAs by RT-PCR after spinal cord injury in mouse. Transcripts encoding 4 of the 19 known ADAMTSs were evaluated in the mouse spinal cord following injury. ADAMTS1, -5 and -9 expression levels were found to be upregulated. No change was observed in ADAMTS4 expression. By means of immunohistochemistry, ADAMTSs were detected in the astrocytes implying its cellular source in SCI. Western blot analyses indicated that aggrecanase-generated proteoglycan fragments are produced after SCI. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.