Astrocytes' organisation affects the functioning and the fine morphology of the brain, both in physiological and pathological contexts. Although many aspects of their role have been characterised, their complex functions remain, to a certain extent, unclear with respect to their contribution to brain cell communication. Here, we studied the effects of nanotopography and microconfinement on primary hippocampal rat astrocytes. For this purpose, we fabricated nanostructured zirconia surfaces as homogenous substrates and as micrometric patterns, the latter produced by a combination of an additive nanofabrication and micropatterning technique. These engineered substrates reproduce both nanotopographical features and microscale geometries that astrocytes encounter in their natural environment, such as basement membrane topography, as well as blood vessels and axonal fibre topology. The impact of restrictive adhesion manifests in the modulation of several cellular properties of single cells (morphological and actin cytoskeletal changes) and the network organisation and functioning. Calcium wave signalling was observed only in astrocytes grown in confined geometries, with an activity enhancement in cells forming elongated agglomerates with dimensions typical of blood vessels or axon fibres. Our results suggest that calcium oscillation and wave propagation are closely related to astrocytic morphology and actin cytoskeleton organisation.

Nanotopography and Microconfinement Impact on Primary Hippocampal Astrocyte Morphology, Cytoskeleton and Spontaneous Calcium Wave Signalling / A. Previdi, F. Borghi, F. Profumo, C. Schulte, C. Piazzoni, J. Lamanna, G. Racchetti, A. Malgaroli, P. Milani. - In: CELLS. - ISSN 2073-4409. - 12:2(2023), pp. 293.1-293.20. [10.3390/cells12020293]

Nanotopography and Microconfinement Impact on Primary Hippocampal Astrocyte Morphology, Cytoskeleton and Spontaneous Calcium Wave Signalling

A. Previdi
Primo
;
F. Borghi
Secondo
;
F. Profumo;C. Schulte;C. Piazzoni;P. Milani
Ultimo
2023

Abstract

Astrocytes' organisation affects the functioning and the fine morphology of the brain, both in physiological and pathological contexts. Although many aspects of their role have been characterised, their complex functions remain, to a certain extent, unclear with respect to their contribution to brain cell communication. Here, we studied the effects of nanotopography and microconfinement on primary hippocampal rat astrocytes. For this purpose, we fabricated nanostructured zirconia surfaces as homogenous substrates and as micrometric patterns, the latter produced by a combination of an additive nanofabrication and micropatterning technique. These engineered substrates reproduce both nanotopographical features and microscale geometries that astrocytes encounter in their natural environment, such as basement membrane topography, as well as blood vessels and axonal fibre topology. The impact of restrictive adhesion manifests in the modulation of several cellular properties of single cells (morphological and actin cytoskeletal changes) and the network organisation and functioning. Calcium wave signalling was observed only in astrocytes grown in confined geometries, with an activity enhancement in cells forming elongated agglomerates with dimensions typical of blood vessels or axon fibres. Our results suggest that calcium oscillation and wave propagation are closely related to astrocytic morphology and actin cytoskeleton organisation.
astrocytes; calcium waves; micrometric pattern; nanostructured zirconia; phenotypes
Settore FIS/03 - Fisica della Materia
2023
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/956936
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