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Papers of the Week

Papers: 7 Oct 2023 - 13 Oct 2023

2023 Oct 06

Sci Adv




Chronic stress hinders sensory axon regeneration via impairing mitochondrial cristae and OXPHOS.


Ruan Y, Cheng J, Dai J, Ma Z, Luo S, Yan R, Wang L, Zhou J, Yu B, Tong X, Shen H, Zhou L, Yuan TF, Han Q


Spinal cord injury (SCI) often leads to physical limitations, persistent pain, and major lifestyle shifts, enhancing the likelihood of prolonged psychological stress and associated disorders such as anxiety and depression. The mechanisms linking stress with regeneration remain elusive, despite understanding the detrimental impact of chronic stress on SCI recovery. In this study, we investigated the effect of chronic stress on primary sensory axon regeneration using a preconditioning lesions mouse model. Our data revealed that chronic stress-induced mitochondrial cristae loss and a decrease in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) within primary sensory neurons, impeding central axon regrowth. Corticosterone, a stress hormone, emerged as a pivotal player in this process, affecting satellite glial cells by reducing Kir4.1 expression. This led to increased neuronal hyperactivity and reactive oxygen species levels, which, in turn, deformed mitochondrial cristae and impaired OXPHOS, crucial for axonal regeneration. Our study underscores the need to manage psychological stress in patients with SCI for effective sensory-motor rehabilitation.