Intracellular calcium release through IP3R or RyR contributes to secondary axonal degeneration.
Orem BC, Pelisch N, Williams J, Nally JM, Stirling DP
Severed CNS axons often retract or dieback away from the injury site and fail to regenerate. The precise mechanisms underlying acute axonal dieback and secondary axonal degeneration remain poorly understood. Here we investigate the role of Ca2+ store mediated intra-axonal Ca2+ release in acute axonal dieback and secondary axonal degeneration. To differentiate between primary (directly transected) and "bystander" axonal injury (axons spared by the initial injury but then succumb to secondary degeneration) in real-time we use our previously published highly focal laser-induced spinal cord injury (LiSCI) ex vivo model. Ascending spinal cord dorsal column axons that express YFP were severed using an 800 nm laser pulse while being imaged continuously using two-photon excitation microscopy. We inhibited two major intra-axonal Ca2+ store channels, ryanodine receptors (RyR) and IP3R, with ryanodine or 2-APB, respectively, to individually determine their role in axonal dieback and secondary axonal degeneration. Each antagonist was dissolved in artificial CSF and applied 1h post-injury alone or in combination, and continuously perfused for the remainder of the imaging session. Initially following LiSCI, transected axons retracted equal distances both distal and proximal to the lesion. However, by 4h after injury, the distal axonal segments that are destined for Wallerian degeneration had significantly retracted further than their proximal counterparts. We also found that targeting either RyR or IP3R using pharmacological and genetic approaches significantly reduced proximal axonal dieback and "bystander" secondary degeneration of axons compared to vehicle controls at 6h post-injury. Combined treatment effects on secondary axonal degeneration were similar to either drug in isolation. Together, these results suggest that intra-axonal Ca2+ store mediated Ca2+ release through RyR or IP3R contributes to secondary axonal degeneration following SCI.
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