Axon tension regulates fasciculation/defasciculation through the control of axon shaft zippering - Development and Plasticity of Neural Networks Access content directly
Journal Articles eLife Year : 2017

Axon tension regulates fasciculation/defasciculation through the control of axon shaft zippering

Abstract

While axon fasciculation plays a key role in the development of neural networks, very little is known about its dynamics and the underlying biophysical mechanisms. In a model system composed of neurons grown ex vivo from explants of embryonic mouse olfactory epithelia, we observed that axons dynamically interact with each other through their shafts, leading to zippering and unzippering behaviour that regulates their fasciculation. Taking advantage of this new preparation suitable for studying such interactions, we carried out a detailed biophysical analysis of zippering, occurring either spontaneously or induced by micromanipulations and pharmacological treatments. We show that zippering arises from the competition of axon-axon adhesion and mechanical tension in the axons, and provide the first quantification of the force of axon-axon adhesion. Furthermore, we introduce a biophysical model of the zippering dynamics, and we quantitatively relate the individual zipper properties to global characteristics of the developing axon network. Our study uncovers a new role of mechanical tension in neural development: the regulation of axon fasciculation.
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hal-01513850 , version 1 (25-04-2017)

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Daniel Smít, Coralie Fouquet, Frédéric Pincet, Martin Zapotocky, Alain Trembleau. Axon tension regulates fasciculation/defasciculation through the control of axon shaft zippering. eLife, 2017, 6, pp.e19907. ⟨10.7554/eLife.19907⟩. ⟨hal-01513850⟩
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