Agrin induced morphological and structural changes in growth cones of cultured hippocampal neurons

R. A. Bergstrom, R. C. Sinjoanu, A. Ferreira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The role of agrin in synaptogenesis has been extensively studied. On the other hand, little is known about the function of this extracellular matrix protein during developmental processes that precede the formation of synapses. Recently, agrin was shown to regulate the rate of neurite elongation and the behavior of growth cones in hippocampal and spinal neurons, respectively. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects have not been completely elucidated. In the present study, we analyzed the morphological and molecular changes induced by agrin in growth cones of hippocampal neurons that developed in culture. Morphometric analysis showed a significant enlargement of growth cones of hippocampal neurons cultured in the presence of agrin. These agrin-induced growth cone changes were accompanied by the formation of loops of microtubules highly enriched in acetylated tubulin and an increase in the content of the microtubule-associated protein (MAP)1B. Together, these data provide further insights into the potential molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of agrin on neurite outgrowth in rat central neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-536
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 9 2007


  • Rac 1
  • actin filaments
  • cofilin
  • microtubule-associated proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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