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Peripheral nerves, subject to continuous elongation and compression during everyday movement, contain neuron fibers vital for movement and sensation. At supraphysiological strains resulting from trauma, chronic conditions, aberrant limb positioning, or surgery, conduction blocks occur which may result in chronic or temporary loss of function. Previous in vitro stretch models, mainly focused on traumatic brain injury modelling, have demonstrated altered electrophysiological behavior during localized deformation applied by pipette suction. Our aim was to evaluate the changes in voltage-activated ion channel function during uniaxial straining of neurons applied by whole-cell deformation, more physiologically relevant model of peripheral nerve trauma. Here, we quantified experimentally the changes in inwards and outwards ion currents and action potential (AP) firing in dorsal root ganglion-derived neurons subject to uniaxial strains, using a custom-built device allowing simultaneous cell deformation and patch clamp recording. Peak inwards sodium currents and rectifying potassium current magnitudes were found to decrease in cells under stretch, channel reversal potentials were found to be left-shifted, and half-maximum activation potentials right-shifted. The threshold for AP firing was increased in stretched cells, although neurons retained the ability to fire induced APs. Overall, these results point to ion channels being damaged directly and immediately by uniaxial strain, affecting cell electrophysiological activity, and can help develop prevention and treatment strategies for peripheral neuropathies caused by mechanical trauma.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of neuroscience research
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Peripheral nerves are continuously subjected to mechanical strain during everyday movements, but excessive stretch can lead to damage and neuronal cell functionality can also be impaired. To better un...
Peripheral nerves contain neuron fibers vital for movement and sensation and are subject to continuous elongation and compression during everyday movement. At supraphysiological strains conduction blo...
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