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PLoS One. 2017 Sep 19;12(9):e0184672. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184672. eCollection 2017.

A high mitochondrial transport rate characterizes CNS neurons with high axonal regeneration capacity.

Cartoni R1,2, Pekkurnaz G1,2,3, Wang C1,2, Schwarz TL1,2,3, He Z1,2.

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Department of Neurology, F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.


Improving axonal transport in the injured and diseased central nervous system has been proposed as a promising strategy to improve neuronal repair. However, the contribution of each cargo to the repair mechanism is unknown. DRG neurons globally increase axonal transport during regeneration. Because the transport of specific cargos after axonal insult has not been examined systematically in a model of enhanced regenerative capacity, it is unknown whether the transport of all cargos would be modulated equally in injured central nervous system neurons. Here, using a microfluidic culture system we compared neurons co-deleted for PTEN and SOCS3, an established model of high axonal regeneration capacity, to control neurons. We measured the axonal transport of three cargos (mitochondria, synaptic vesicles and late endosomes) in regenerating axons and found that the transport of mitochondria, but not the other cargos, was increased in PTEN/SOCS3 co-deleted axons relative to controls. The results reported here suggest a pivotal role for this organelle during axonal regeneration.

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