Dynamic indentation reveals differential viscoelastic properties of white matter versus gray matter-derived astrocytes upon treatment with lipopolysaccharide

Nelda Antonovaite*, Thecla A. van Wageningen, Erik J. Paardekam, Anne-Marie van Dam, Davide Iannuzzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103783
Pages (from-to)103783
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

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