Distribution of mitochondria throughout the cytoplasm is necessary for cellular function and health. Due to their unique, highly polarized morphology, neurons are particularly vulnerable to defects of mitochondrial transport, and its disruption can contribute to neuropathology. In this chapter, we present an ex vivo method for monitoring mitochondrial transport within myelinated sensory and motor axons from spinal nerve roots. This approach can be used to investigate mitochondrial behavior under a number of experimental conditions, e.g., by applying ion channel modulators, ionophores, or toxins, as well as for testing the therapeutic potential of new strategies targeting axonal mitochondrial dynamics.
Mitochondrial transport Mitochondrial trafficking Axonal transport Mitochondria live imaging Spinal nerve roots Ex vivo explants
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This work was supported by a fellowship from La Caixa and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst to H. Bros. We thank the JIMI network for infrastructural imaging support and J. Millward for reading the manuscript.
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