The extracellular matrix of the adult brain tissue has a unique composition. The striking feature of this matrix is the prominence of lecticans, proteoglycans that contain a lectin domain and a hyaluronic acid-binding domain. Hyaluronic acid and tenascin family adhesive/anti-adhesive proteins are also abundant. Matrix proteins common in other tissues are nearly absent in adult brain. The brain extracellular matrix appears to have trophic effects on neuronal cells and affect neurite outgrowth. The unique composition of this matrix may be responsible for the resistance of brain tissue toward invasion by tumors of non-neuronal origin.