Stretch-growth has been defined as a process that extends axons via the application of mechanical forces. In the present article, we used a protocol based on magnetic nanoparticles (NPs) for labeling the entire axon tract of hippocampal neurons, and an external magnetic field gradient to generate a dragging force. We found that the application of forces below 10 pN induces growth at a rate of 0.66 6 0.02 mm h21 pN21. Calcium imaging confirmed the strong increase in elongation rate, in comparison with the condition of tip-growth. Enhanced growth in stretched axons was also accompanied by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) accumulation and, accordingly, it was blocked by an inhibition of translation. Stretch-growth was also found to stimulate axonal branching, glutamatergic synaptic transmission, and neuronal excitability. Moreover, stretched axons showed increased microtubule (MT) density and MT assembly was key to sustaining stretch-growth, suggesting a possible role of tensile forces in MT translocation/assembly. Additionally, our data showed that stretched axons do not respond to BDNF signaling, suggesting interference between the two pathways. As these extremely low mechanical forces are physiologically relevant, stretch-growth could be an important endogenous mechanism of axon growth, with a potential for designing novel strategies for axonal regrowth.

Extremely Low Forces Induce Extreme Axon Growth

Mainardi M.;Bizzarri R.;Storti B.;Raffa V.
2020

Abstract

Stretch-growth has been defined as a process that extends axons via the application of mechanical forces. In the present article, we used a protocol based on magnetic nanoparticles (NPs) for labeling the entire axon tract of hippocampal neurons, and an external magnetic field gradient to generate a dragging force. We found that the application of forces below 10 pN induces growth at a rate of 0.66 6 0.02 mm h21 pN21. Calcium imaging confirmed the strong increase in elongation rate, in comparison with the condition of tip-growth. Enhanced growth in stretched axons was also accompanied by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) accumulation and, accordingly, it was blocked by an inhibition of translation. Stretch-growth was also found to stimulate axonal branching, glutamatergic synaptic transmission, and neuronal excitability. Moreover, stretched axons showed increased microtubule (MT) density and MT assembly was key to sustaining stretch-growth, suggesting a possible role of tensile forces in MT translocation/assembly. Additionally, our data showed that stretched axons do not respond to BDNF signaling, suggesting interference between the two pathways. As these extremely low mechanical forces are physiologically relevant, stretch-growth could be an important endogenous mechanism of axon growth, with a potential for designing novel strategies for axonal regrowth.
2020
Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia
Axon growth; Force; Mechanotransduction; Animals; Growth Cones; Hippocampus; Magnetics; Mechanotransduction, Cellular; Metal Nanoparticles; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Neuronal Outgrowth
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11384/96216
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