AWC olfactory neurons are fundamental for chemotaxis toward volatile attractants in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, it is shown that AWCON responds not only to chemicals but also to mechanical stimuli caused by fluid flow changes in a microfluidic device. The dynamics of calcium events are correlated with the stimulus amplitude. It is further shown that the mechanosensitivity of AWCON neurons has an intrinsic nature rather than a synaptic origin, and the calcium transient response is mediated by TAX-4 cGMP-gated cation channel, suggesting the involvement of one or more “odorant” receptors in AWCON mechano-transduction. In many cases, the responses show plateau properties resembling bistable calcium dynamics where neurons can switch from one stable state to the other. To investigate the unprecedentedly observed mechanosensitivity of AWCON neurons, a novel microfluidic device is designed to minimize the fluid shear flow in the arena hosting the nematodes. Animals in this device show reduced neuronal activation of AWCON neurons. The results observed indicate that the tangential component of the mechanical stress is the main contributor to the mechanosensitivity of AWCON. Furthermore, the microfluidic platform, integrating shearless perfusion and calcium imaging, provides a novel and more controlled solution for in vivo analysis both in micro-organisms and cultured cells.

A Shearless Microfluidic Device Detects a Role in Mechanosensitivity for AWCON Neuron in Caenorhabditis elegans

Chiodo L.;Nicoletti M.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

AWC olfactory neurons are fundamental for chemotaxis toward volatile attractants in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, it is shown that AWCON responds not only to chemicals but also to mechanical stimuli caused by fluid flow changes in a microfluidic device. The dynamics of calcium events are correlated with the stimulus amplitude. It is further shown that the mechanosensitivity of AWCON neurons has an intrinsic nature rather than a synaptic origin, and the calcium transient response is mediated by TAX-4 cGMP-gated cation channel, suggesting the involvement of one or more “odorant” receptors in AWCON mechano-transduction. In many cases, the responses show plateau properties resembling bistable calcium dynamics where neurons can switch from one stable state to the other. To investigate the unprecedentedly observed mechanosensitivity of AWCON neurons, a novel microfluidic device is designed to minimize the fluid shear flow in the arena hosting the nematodes. Animals in this device show reduced neuronal activation of AWCON neurons. The results observed indicate that the tangential component of the mechanical stress is the main contributor to the mechanosensitivity of AWCON. Furthermore, the microfluidic platform, integrating shearless perfusion and calcium imaging, provides a novel and more controlled solution for in vivo analysis both in micro-organisms and cultured cells.
2021
AWC
Caenorhabditis elegans
mechanosensation
microfluidics
pressure
shear stress
Animals
Lab-On-A-Chip Devices
Neurons
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12610/63663
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