Diverged morphology changes of astrocytic and neuronal primary cilia under reactive insults.

Academic Article


  • Primary cilia are centriole-derived sensory organelles that are present in most mammalian cells, including astrocytes and neurons. Evidence is emerging that astrocyte and neuronal primary cilia demonstrate a dichotomy in the mature mouse brain. However, it is unknown how astrocytic and neuronal primary cilia change their morphology and ciliary proteins when exposed to reactive insults including epilepsy and traumatic brain injury. We used a double transgenic mouse strain (Arl13b-mCherry; Centrin2-GFP), in which we found spontaneous seizures, and a cortical injury model to examine the morphological changes of astrocytic and neuronal primary cilia under reactive conditions. Transgenic overexpression of Arl13b drastically increases the length of astrocytic and neuronal primary cilia in the hippocampus, as well as the cilia lengths of cultured astrocytes and neurons. Spontaneous seizures shorten Arl13b-positive astrocytic cilia and AC3-positive neuronal cilia in the hippocampus. In a cortical injury model, Arl13b is not detectable in primary cilia, but Arl13b protein relocates to the cell body and has robust expression in the proximity of injured tissues. In contrast, the number of AC3-positive cilia near injured tissues remains unchanged, but their lengths become shorter. These results on astrocytic cilia implicate Arl13b in regulating astrocyte proliferation and tissue regeneration, while the shortening of AC3-positive cilia suggests adaptive changes of neuronal primary cilia under excitotoxicity.
  • Authors

  • Sterpka, Ashley
  • Yang, Juan
  • Strobel, Matthew
  • Zhou, Yuxin
  • Pauplis, Connor
  • Chen, Xuanmao
  • Publication Date

  • March 2, 2020
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

  • Molecular Brain  Journal
  • Keywords

  • AC3
  • Arl13b
  • Astrocytes
  • Epilepsy
  • Primary cilia
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 28
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 1