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Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2012

How morphological constraints affect axonal polarity in mouse neurons.


Neuronal differentiation is under the tight control of both biochemical and physical information arising from neighboring cells and micro-environment. Here we wished to assay how external geometrical constraints applied to the cell body and/or the neurites of hippocampal neurons may modulate axonal polarization in vitro. Through the use of a panel of non-specific poly-L-lysine micropatterns, we manipulated the neuronal shape. By applying geometrical constraints on the cell body we provided evidence that centrosome location was not predictive of axonal polarization but rather follows axonal fate. When the geometrical constraints were applied to the neurites trajectories we demonstrated that axonal specification was inhibited by curved lines. Altogether these results indicated that intrinsic mechanical tensions occur during neuritic growth and that maximal tension was developed by the axon and expressed on straight trajectories. The strong inhibitory effect of curved lines on axon specification was further demonstrated by their ability to prevent formation of multiple axons normally induced by cytochalasin or taxol treatments. Finally we provided evidence that microtubules were involved in the tension-mediated axonal polarization, acting as curvature sensors during neuronal differentiation. Thus, biomechanics coupled to physical constraints might be the first level of regulation during neuronal development, primary to biochemical and guidance regulations.
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inserm-00734627 , version 1 (24-09-2012)



Sophie Roth, Mariano Bisbal, Jacques Brocard, Ghislain Bugnicourt, Yasmina Saoudi, et al.. How morphological constraints affect axonal polarity in mouse neurons.. PLoS ONE, 2012, 7 (3), pp.e33623. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0033623⟩. ⟨inserm-00734627⟩
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