Author(s): Iacobucci GJ, Rahman NA, Valtuea AA, Nayak TK, Gunawardena S
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Abstract Efficient intracellular transport is essential for healthy cellular function and structural integrity, and problems in this pathway can lead to neuronal cell death and disease. To spatially and temporally evaluate how transport defects are initiated, we adapted a primary neuronal culture system from Drosophila larval brains to visualize the movement dynamics of several cargos/organelles along a 90 micron axonal neurite over time. All six vesicles/organelles imaged showed robust bi-directional motility at both day 1 and day 2. Reduction of motor proteins decreased the movement of vesicles/organelles with increased numbers of neurite blocks. Neuronal growth was also perturbed with reduction of motor proteins. Strikingly, we found that all blockages were not fixed, permanent blocks that impeded transport of vesicles as previously thought, but that some blocks were dynamic clusters of vesicles that resolved over time. Taken together, our findings suggest that non-resolving blocks may likely initiate deleterious pathways leading to death and degeneration, while resolving blocks may be benign. Therefore evaluating the spatial and temporal characteristics of vesicle transport has important implications for our understanding of how transport defects can affect other pathways to initiate death and degeneration.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation