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Live imaging of the actin cytoskeleton is crucial for the study of many fundamental biological processes, but current approaches to visualize actin have several limitations. Here we describe Lifeact, a 17-amino-acid peptide, which stained filamentous actin (F-actin) structures in eukaryotic cells and tissues. Lifeact did not interfere with actin dynamics in(More)
Axon formation is the initial step in establishing neuronal polarity. We examine here the role of microtubule dynamics in neuronal polarization using hippocampal neurons in culture. We see increased microtubule stability along the shaft in a single neurite before axon formation and in the axon of morphologically polarized cells. Loss of polarity or(More)
The peripheral branch of primary sensory neurons regenerates after injury, but there is no regeneration when their central branch is severed by spinal cord injury. Here we show that microinjection of a membrane-permeable analog of cAMP in lumbar dorsal root ganglia markedly increases the regeneration of injured central sensory branches. The injured axons(More)
The examination of tissue histology by light microscopy is a fundamental tool for investigating the structure and function of organs under normal and disease states. Many current techniques for tissue sectioning, imaging and analysis are time-consuming, and they present major limitations for 3D tissue reconstruction. The introduction of methods to achieve(More)
Axons in the CNS do not regrow after injury, whereas lesioned axons in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) regenerate. Lesioned CNS axons form characteristic swellings at their tips known as retraction bulbs, which are the nongrowing counterparts of growth cones. Although much progress has been made in identifying intracellular and molecular mechanisms that(More)
The assembly of a new growth cone is a prerequisite for axon regeneration after injury. Creation of a new growth cone involves multiple processes, including calcium signalling, restructuring of the cytoskeleton, transport of materials, local translation of messenger RNAs and the insertion of new membrane and cell surface molecules. In axons that have an(More)
The role of localized instability of the actin network in specifying axonal fate was examined with the use of rat hippocampal neurons in culture. During normal neuronal development, actin dynamics and instability polarized to a single growth cone before axon formation. Consistently, global application of actin-depolymerizing drugs and of the Rho-signaling(More)
Hypertrophic scarring and poor intrinsic axon growth capacity constitute major obstacles for spinal cord repair. These processes are tightly regulated by microtubule dynamics. Here, moderate microtubule stabilization decreased scar formation after spinal cord injury in rodents through various cellular mechanisms, including dampening of transforming growth(More)
Studying regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) is hampered by current histological and imaging techniques because they provide only partial information about axonal and glial reactions. Here we developed a tetrahydrofuran-based clearing procedure that renders fixed and unsectioned adult CNS tissue transparent and fully penetrable for optical(More)
Neuronal migration and axon growth, key events during neuronal development, require distinct changes in the cytoskeleton. Although many molecular regulators of polarity have been identified and characterized, relatively little is known about their physiological role in this process. To study the physiological function of Rac1 in neuronal development, we(More)