The Age-Dependent Decline in Neuron Growth Potential in the CNS is Associated with an Age-Related Dysfunction of Neuronal Mitochondria Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • AbstractThe age of incidence of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and the average age of people living with SCI is continuously increasing. In contrast, SCI is extensively modelled in young adult animals, hampering translation of research to clinical application. While there has been significant progress in manipulating axon growth after injury, how it is impacted by aging impacts this is still unknown. Aging is associated with a decline in mitochondrial functions, whereas mitochondria are essential to successful neurite and axon growth. Using isolation and culture of adult cortical neurons, we have analyzed mitochondrial changes in 2-, 6-, 12- and 18-month mice. We observed reduced neurite growth in older neurons. Older neurons also showed dysfunctional respiration, reduced membrane potential, and altered mitochondrial membrane transport proteins; however mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) abundance and cellular ATP were increased. Taken together, these data suggest dysfunctional mitochondria in older neurons are involved in the age-dependent reduction in neuron growth. Both normal aging and traumatic injury are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, posing a challenge for an aging SCI population as the two elements can compound one another to worsen injury outcomes. The results of this study highlight this as an area of great interest in CNS trauma.

altmetric score

  • 11.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Sutherland, T. C., Sefiani, A., Horvat, D., Huntington, T. E., Lei, Y., West, A. P., & Geoffroy, C. G.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Sutherland, Theresa C||Sefiani, Arthur||Horvat, Darijana||Huntington, Taylor E||Lei, Yuanjiu||West, A Phillip||Geoffroy, C├ędric G

Book Title

  • bioRxiv

publication date

  • May 2021