Astrocytes in white matter (WM) and gray matter (GM) brain regions have been reported to have different morphology and function. Previous single cell biomechanical studies have not differentiated between WM- and GM-derived samples. In this study, we explored the local viscoelastic properties of isolated astrocytes and show that astrocytes from rat brain WM-enriched areas are ~1.8 times softer than astrocytes from GM-enriched areas. Upon treatment with pro-inflammatory lipopolysaccharide, GM-derived astrocytes become significantly softer in the nuclear and the cytoplasmic regions, where the F-actin network appears rearranged, whereas WM-derived astrocytes preserve their initial mechanical features and show no alteration in the F-actin cytoskeletal network. We hypothesize that the flexibility in biomechanical properties of GM-derived astrocytes may contribute to promote regeneration of the brain under neuroinflammatory conditions.
|Journal||Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2020|