Neuroscience letters

Roles of syndecan-4 and relative kinases in dorsal root ganglion neuron adhesion and mechanotransduction.

PMID 25757361


Mechanical stimuli elicit a biological response and initiate complex physiological processes, including neural feedback schemes associated with senses such as pain, vibration, touch, and hearing. The syndecans (SDCs), a group of adhesion receptors, can modulate adhesion and organize the extracellular matrix (ECM). In this study, we cultured dorsal root ganglia (DRG) on controlled polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrates coated with poly-l-lysine (poly) or fibronectin (FN) to investigate cell adhesion and mechanotransduction mechanisms by mechanical stretching on PDMS using DRG neurons. Our results demonstrated that neuronal density, neurite length, and neurite branching were lower in the PDMS group and could be further reversed through activating SDC-4 by FN. The expression of the SDC-4 pathway decreased but with increased pPKCα in the PDMS-poly group. After mechanical stretching, pPKCα-FAKpTyr397-pERK1/2 expression was increased in both poly- and FN-coated PDMS. These results indicate that SDC4-pPKCα-FAKpTyr397-pERK1/2 may play a crucial role in DRG adhesion and mechanotransduction.