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In vivo imaging of axonal transport in peripheral nerves of rodent forelimbs

Lang, Qiuhan; Schiavo, Giampietro; Sleigh, James N; (2023) In vivo imaging of axonal transport in peripheral nerves of rodent forelimbs. Neuronal Signaling , 7 (1) , Article NS20220098. 10.1042/ns20220098. Green open access

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Abstract

Axonal transport is the essential process by which neurons actively traffic a variety of cargoes between the cell soma and axon terminals. Accordingly, dysfunctional axonal transport is linked to many nervous system conditions. Therefore, being able to image and quantify this dynamic process in live neurons of animal disease models is beneficial for understanding neuropathology and testing new therapies at the preclinical level. As such, intravital approaches have been developed to assess cargo movement in the hindlimb sciatic nerves of live, anaesthetised mice. Here, we describe an adapted method for in vivo imaging of axonal transport in intact median and ulnar nerves of the rodent forelimb. Injection of a fluorescently labelled and non-toxic fragment of tetanus neurotoxin (HCT) into the mouse forepaw permits the identification of signalling endosomes in intact axons of median and ulnar nerves. Through immunofluorescent analysis of forelimb lumbrical muscles and median/ulnar nerves, we confirmed that HCT is taken up at motor nerve terminals and predominantly locates to motor axons. We then showed that the baseline trafficking of signalling endosomes is similar between the median/ulnar nerves and the sciatic nerve in adult wild-type mice. Importantly, this adapted method can be readily tailored for assessment of additional cargoes, such as mitochondria. By measuring transport in forelimb and hindlimb nerves, comparative anatomical and functional analyses can be performed in rodent disease models to aid our understanding of peripheral nerve disease pathogenesis and response to injury.

Type: Article
Title: In vivo imaging of axonal transport in peripheral nerves of rodent forelimbs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1042/ns20220098
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1042/NS20220098
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).
Keywords: axonal transport, live imaging, motor neuron, median nerve, neuromuscular junction (NMJ), ulnar nerve
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10162906
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