Michelle L. Previtera

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Little is known about how the neuronal cytoskeleton is regulated when a dendrite decides whether to branch or not. Previously, we reported that postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95) acts as a stop signal for dendrite branching. It is yet to be elucidated how PSD-95 affects the cytoskeleton and how this regulation relates to the dendritic arbor. Here, we(More)
Brain injury or disease can initiate changes in local or global stiffness of brain tissue. While stiffness of the extracellular environment is known to affect the morphology and function of many cell types, little is known about how the dendrites of neurons respond to changes in brain stiffness. To assess how extracellular stiffness affects dendrite(More)
Previous studies have shown that dendrites are influenced by substrate stiffness when neurons are plated in either pure or mixed cultures. However, because substrate rigidity can also affect other aspects of culture development known to impact dendrite branching, such as overall cell number, it is unclear whether substrate stiffness exerts a direct or(More)
Cell adhesion and morphology are affected by the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix. Using polyacrylamide gels as cell substrates, the cellular response to substrate compliance was investigated in pure neuronal, pure astroglial, or mixed co-cultures. Substrates used spanned a large range of stiffnesses including that of brain tissue. In both(More)
The regulation of AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) membrane trafficking is a key mechanism by which neurons regulate synaptic strength and plasticity. AMPAR trafficking is modulated through a combination of receptor phosphorylation, ubiquitination, endocytosis, and recycling, yet the factors that mediate these processes are just beginning to be(More)
Despite cellular environments having dynamic characteristics, many laboratories utilized static polyacrylamide hydrogels to study the ECM–cell relationship. To attain a more in vivo like environment, we have developed a dynamic, DNA-crosslinked hydrogel (DNA gel). Through the controlled delivery of DNA, we can temporally decrease or increase gel stiffness(More)
The spinal cord has a limited capacity to self-repair. After injury, endogenous stem cells are activated and migrate, proliferate, and differentiate into glial cells. The absence of neuronal differentiation has been partly attributed to the interaction between the injured microenvironment and neural stem cells. In order to improve post-injury neuronal(More)
Infiltrating leukocytes are exposed to a wide range of tissue elasticities. While we know the effects of substrate elasticity on acute inflammation via the study of neutrophil migration, we do not know its effects on leukocytes that direct chronic inflammatory events. Here, we studied morphology and motility of macrophages, the innate immune cells that(More)
Brain stiffness changes in response to injury or disease. As a secondary consequence, glutamate is released from neurons and astroglia. Two types of glutamate receptors, N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors, sense mechanotransduction, leading to downstream signaling in neurons. Recently, our(More)