Novel Tools towards Magnetic Guidance of Neurite Growth: (I) Guidance of Magnetic Nanoparticles into Neurite Extensions of Induced Human Neurons and In Vitro Functionalization with RAS Regulating Proteins

J Funct Biomater. 2019 Jul 16;10(3):32. doi: 10.3390/jfb10030032.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease associated with loss or dysfunction of dopaminergic neurons located in the substantia nigra (SN), and there is no cure available. An emerging new approach for treatment is to transplant human induced dopaminergic neurons directly into the denervated striatal brain target region. Unfortunately, neurons grafted into the substantia nigra are unable to grow axons into the striatum and thus do not allow recovery of the original connectivity. Towards overcoming this general limitation in guided neuronal regeneration, we develop here magnetic nanoparticles functionalized with proteins involved in the regulation of axonal growth. We show covalent binding of constitutive active human rat sarcoma (RAS) proteins or RAS guanine nucleotide exchange factor catalytic domain of son of sevenless (SOS) by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and multiangle light scattering as well as the characterization of exchange factor activity. Human dopaminergic neurons were differentiated from neural precursor cells and characterized by electrophysiological and immune histochemical methods. Furthermore, we demonstrate magnetic translocation of cytoplasmic γ-Fe2O3@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles into the neurite extensions of induced human neurons. Altogether, we developed tools towards remote control of directed neurite growth in human dopaminergic neurons. These results may have relevance for future therapeutic approaches of cell replacement therapy in Parkinson's disease.

Keywords: GTP exchange factor; Parkinson’s disease; RAS GTPase; SOS; dopaminergic neuron; fluorescence correlation spectroscopy; magnetic nanoparticle; magnetic nanoparticles; multiangle light scattering; regeneration.