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Microtopographical cues promote peripheral nerve regeneration via transient mTORC2 activation
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2017 (English)In: Acta Biomaterialia, ISSN 1742-7061, E-ISSN 1878-7568, Vol. 60, p. 220-231Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite microsurgical repair, recovery of function following peripheral nerve injury is slow and often incomplete. Outcomes could be improved by an increased understanding of the molecular biology of regeneration and by translation of experimental bioengineering strategies. Topographical cues have been shown to be powerful regulators of the rate and directionality of neurite regeneration, and in this study we investigated the downstream molecular effects of linear micropatterned structures in an organotypic explant model. Linear topographical cues enhanced neurite outgrowth and our results demonstrated that the mTOR pathway is important in regulating these responses. mTOR gene expression peaked between 48 and 72 h, coincident with the onset of rapid neurite outgrowth and glial migration, and correlated with neurite length at 48 h. mTOR protein was located to glia and in a punctate distribution along neurites. mTOR levels peaked at 72 h and were significantly increased by patterned topography (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the topographical cues could override pharmacological inhibition. Downstream phosphorylation assays and inhibition of mTORC1 using rapamycin highlighted mTORC2 as an important mediator, and more specific therapeutic target. Quantitative immunohistochemistry confirmed the presence of the mTORC2 component rictor at the regenerating front where it co-localised with F-actin and vinculin. Collectively, these results provide a deeper understanding of the mechanism of action of topography on neural regeneration, and support the incorporation of topographical patterning in combination with pharmacological mTORC2 potentiation within biomaterial constructs used to repair peripheral nerves.

Statement of Significance: Peripheral nerve injury is common and functionally devastating. Despite microsurgical repair, healing is slow and incomplete, with lasting functional deficit. There is a clear need to translate bioengineering approaches and increase our knowledge of the molecular processes controlling nerve regeneration to improve the rate and success of healing. Topographical cues are powerful determinants of neurite outgrowth and represent a highly translatable engineering strategy. Here we demonstrate, for the first time, that microtopography potentiates neurite outgrowth via the mTOR pathway, with the mTORC2 subtype being of particular importance. These results give further evidence for the incorporation of microtopographical cues into peripheral nerve regeneration conduits and indicate that mTORC2 may be a suitable therapeutic target to potentiate nerve regeneration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 60, p. 220-231
Keywords [en]
Microtopography, Peripheral nerve, Tissue engineering, mTOR
National Category
Cell Biology Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-140650DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2017.07.031ISI: 000411421400018PubMedID: 28754648OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-140650DiVA, id: diva2:1149980
Available from: 2017-10-17 Created: 2017-10-17 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Kingham, Paul J.
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Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB)
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