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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 Jul 2020 - 24 Jul 2020

Animal Studies

2020 Jul 21

Cell Rep



Editor's Pick

Maturational Changes in Mouse Cutaneous Touch and Piezo2-Mediated Mechanotransduction.


Michel N, Narayanan P, Shomroni O, Schmidt M
Cell Rep. 2020 Jul 21; 32(3):107912.
PMID: 32697985.


The age of studied animals has a profound impact on experimental outcomes in animal-based research. In mice, age influences molecular, morphological, physiological, and behavioral parameters, particularly during rapid postnatal growth and maturation until adulthood (at 12 weeks of age). Despite this knowledge, most biomedical studies use a wide-spanning age range from 4 to 12 weeks, raising concerns about reproducibility and potential masking of relevant age differences. Here, using mouse behavior and electrophysiology in cultured dorsal root ganglia (DRG), we reveal a decline in behavioral cutaneous touch sensitivity and Piezo2-mediated mechanotransduction in vitro during mouse maturation but not thereafter. In addition, we identify distinct transcript changes in individual Piezo2-expressing mechanosensitive DRG neurons by combining electrophysiology with single-cell RNA sequencing (patch-seq). Taken together, our study emphasizes the need for accurate age matching and uncovers hitherto unknown maturational plasticity in cutaneous touch at the level of behavior, mechanotransduction, and transcripts.