The Role of Stretching in Slow Axonal Transport
Axonal stretching is linked to rapid rates of axonal elongation. Yet the impact of stretching on elongation and slow axonal transport is unclear. Here, we develop a mathematical model of slow axonal transport that incorporates the rate of axonal elongation, protein half-life, protein density, adhesion strength, and axonal viscosity to quantify the effects of axonal stretching. We find that under conditions where the axon (or nerve) is free of a substrate and lengthens at rapid rates (>4 mm day−1), stretching can account for almost 50% of total anterograde axonal transport. These results suggest that it is possible to accelerate elongation and transport simultaneously by increasing either the axon's susceptibility to stretching or the forces that induce stretching. To our knowledge, this work is the first to incorporate the effects of stretching in a model of slow axonal transport. It has relevance to our understanding of neurite outgrowth during development and peripheral nerve regeneration after trauma, and hence to the development of treatments for spinal cord injury.
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© 2011 The Biophysical Society
O'Toole, Matthew and Miller, Kyle E., "The Role of Stretching in Slow Axonal Transport" (2011). Mathematics Publications. 104.