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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 514-517

Matrix interactions modulate neurotrophin-mediated neurite outgrowth and pathfinding

1 Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
2 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Correspondence Address:
Sarah C Heilshorn
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305
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Source of Support: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (1DP2-OD006477, R01-DK085720, R21-AR062359-01), the National Science Foundation (DMR-0846363)., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.155426

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Both matrix biochemistry and neurotrophic factors are known to modulate neurite outgrowth and pathfinding; however, the interplay between these two factors is less studied. While previous work has shown that the biochemical identity of the matrix can alter the outgrowth of neurites in response to neurotrophins, the importance of the concentration of cell-adhesive ligands is unknown. Using engineered elastin-like protein matrices, we recently demonstrated a synergistic effect between matrix-bound cell-adhesive ligand density and soluble nerve growth factor treatment on neurite outgrowth from dorsal root ganglia. This synergism was mediated by Schwann cell-neurite contact through L1CAM. Cell-adhesive ligand density was also shown to alter the pathfinding behavior of dorsal root ganglion neurites in response to a gradient of nerve growth factor. While more cell-adhesive matrices promoted neurite outgrowth, less cell-adhesive matrices promoted more faithful neurite pathfinding. These studies emphasize the importance of considering both matrix biochemistry and neurotrophic factors when designing biomaterials for peripheral nerve regeneration.

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