Stretch-grown axons retain the ability to transmit active electrical signals

Bryan J. Pfister, David P. Bonislawski, Douglas H. Smith, Akiva S. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Little is known about extensive nervous system growth after axons reach their targets. Indeed, postnatal animals continue to grow, suggesting that axons are stretched to accommodate the expanding body. We have previously shown that axons can sustain stretch-growth rates reaching 1 cm/day; however, it remained unknown whether the ability to transmit active signals was maintained. Here, stretch-growth did not alter sodium channel activation, inactivation, and recovery or potassium channel activation. In addition, neurons generated normal action potentials that propagated across stretch-grown axons. Surprisingly, Na and K channel density increased due to stretch-growth, which may represent a natural response to preserve the fidelity of neuronal signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3525-3531
Number of pages7
JournalFEBS Letters
Volume580
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 12 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

Keywords

  • Action potential
  • Axon growth
  • Nervous system growth
  • Potassium channel
  • Sodium channel

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