Analysis of Semaphorin-Induced Growth Cone Collapse and Axon Growth Inhibition.

Abstract

The axonal growth cone is a specialized structure enabling axon extension and proper guidance to its target by sensing the extracellular environment. A growth cone collapse assay is a popular approach designed to characterize the inhibitory effect of secreted guidance cues in vitro. However, the actin cytoskeleton of the growth cone is very sensitive to various factors like physical impact, temperature, and acidity of environment that may also induce responses resembling those of guidance signals. Herein, we provide an easy and reproducible method to analyze growth cone sensitivity to the prototypic guidance molecule family class 3 semaphorin. This protocol is intended to present a systematic approach that is easy to apply to any soluble factors with a potential to impact axon elongation.

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