Publi #2 - Neuronal network maturation differently affects secretory vesicles and mitochondria transport in axons

Studying intracellular dynamics in neurons is crucial to better understand how brain circuits communicate and adapt to environmental changes. In neurons, axonal secretory vesicles underlie various functions from growth during development to plasticity in the mature brain. Similarly, transport of mitochondria, the power plant of the cell, regulates both axonal development and synaptic homeostasis.
However, because of their submicrometric size and rapid velocities, studying the kinetics of these organelles in projecting axons in vivo is technically challenging. In parallel, primary neuronal cultures are adapted to study axonal transport but they lack the physiological organization of neuronal networks, which in turn may bias observations. We previously developed a microfluidic platform to reconstruct a physiologically-relevant and functional corticostriatal network in vitro that is compatible with high-resolution videorecording of axonal trafficking. Here, using this system we report progressive changes in axonal transport kinetics of both dense core vesicles and mitochondria that correlate with network development and maturation. Interestingly, axonal flow of both types of organelles change in opposite directions, with rates increasing for vesicles and decreasing for mitochondria. Overall, our observations highlight the need for a better spatiotemporal control for the study of intracellular dynamics in order to avoid misinterpretations and improve reproducibility.
Published on November 29, 2018