Mechanically Activated Currents in Mechanosensitive Cells
Dister, Jacqueline Faye
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The purpose of this study is to analyze the effect of ultrasonic pressure on the mechanosensitive channel activity in the N2A cell line. Prior research has indicated that certain ion channels in the cellular membrane of the N2A cell line can be activated by the application of static pressure. Here, in addition to static pressure, we applied ultrasound pressure to the N2A cells, and assessed the effectiveness of these two stimuli using the patch-clamp method. Results indicate a positive correlation between the application of static pressure and the current response, confirming the piezo-electrical characteristics of these channels. Moreover, the resemblance between the response to static pressure and to that of ultrasound implicates the role of Piezo channels in high frequency mechanosensation and opens up many possibilities in the use of ultrasound for neuromodulation. Identifying the cell populations in the brain that express mechanosensitive channels could provide novel ultrasound-based therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.