Accelerated neurite growth from spiral ganglion neurons exposed to the Rho kinase inhibitor H-1152

M. Lie, M. Grover, D. S. Whitlon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Upon the death of their hair cell synaptic partners, bipolar cochlear spiral ganglion neurons either die or retract their peripheral nerve fibers. Efforts to induce the regrowth of the peripheral neurites have had to rely on limited knowledge of the mechanisms underlying spiral ganglion neurite regeneration and have been restricted by the impracticality of undertaking large numbers of manual analyses of neurite growth responses. Here we have used dissociated cultures of postnatal mouse spiral ganglia to assess the effects of the Rho kinase inhibitor H-1152 on neurite growth and to determine the utility of automated high content analysis for evaluating neurite length from spiral ganglion neurons in vitro. In cultures of postnatal mouse spiral ganglion, greater than 95% of the neurons develop bipolar, monopolar or neurite-free morphologies in ratios dependent on whether the initial medium composition contains leukemia inhibitory factor or bone morphogenetic protein 4. Cultures under both conditions were maintained for 24 h, then exposed for 18 h to H-1152. None of the cultures exposed to H-1152 showed decreased neuronal survival or alterations in the ratios of different neuronal morphologies. However, as measured manually, the population of neurite lengths was increased in the presence of H-1152 in both types of cultures. High content analysis using the Arrayscan VTi imager and Cellomics software confirmed the rank order differences in neurite lengths among culture conditions. These data suggest the presence of an inhibitory regulatory mechanism(s) in the signaling pathway of Rho kinase that slows the growth of spiral ganglion neurites. The automated analysis demonstrates the feasibility of using primary cultures of dissociated mouse spiral ganglion for large scale screens of chemicals, genes or other factors that regulate neurite growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-862
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Cochlea
  • High content analysis
  • Neurite
  • Regeneration
  • Rho kinase
  • Spiral ganglion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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