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Neurons differentiate magnitude and location of mechanical stimuli

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Citation

Gaub, B. M., Kasuba, K. C., Macé, E., Strittmatter, T., Laskowski, P. R., Geissler, S. A., et al. (2020). Neurons differentiate magnitude and location of mechanical stimuli. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(2), 848-856. doi:10.1073/pnas.1909933117.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-B0F4-C
Abstract
Neuronal activity can be modulated by mechanical stimuli. To study this phenomenon quantitatively, we mechanically stimulated rat cortical neurons by shear stress and local indentation. Neurons show 2 distinct responses, classified as transient and sustained. Transient responses display fast kinetics, similar to spontaneous neuronal activity, whereas sustained responses last several minutes before returning to baseline. Local soma stimulations with micrometersized beads evoke transient responses at low forces of similar to 220 nN and pressures of similar to 5.6 kPa and sustained responses at higher forces of similar to 360 nN and pressures of similar to 9.2 kPa. Among the neuronal compartments, axons are highly susceptible to mechanical stimulation and predominantly show sustained responses, whereas the less susceptible dendrites predominantly respond transiently. Chemical perturbation experiments suggest that mechanically evoked responses require the influx of extracellular calcium through ion channels. We propose that subtraumatic forces/pressures applied to neurons evoke neuronal responses via nonspecific gating of ion channels.