Evidence for the involvement of ASIC3 in sensory mechanotransduction in proprioceptors

Shing-Hong Lin, Yuan-Ren Cheng, Robert W. Banks, Ming-Yuan Min, Guy S. Bewick* (Corresponding Author), Chih-Cheng Chen (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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Acid-sensing ion channel 3 (ASIC3) is involved in acid nociception, but its possible role in neurosensory mechanotransduction is disputed. We report here the generation of Asic3-knockout/eGFPf-knockin mice and subsequent characterization of heterogeneous expression of ASIC3 in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). ASIC3 is expressed in parvalbumin (Pv+) proprioceptor axons innervating muscle spindles. We further generate a floxed allele of Asic3 (Asic3f/f) and probe the role of ASIC3 in mechanotransduction in neurite-bearing Pv+ DRG neurons through localized elastic matrix movements and electrophysiology. Targeted knockout of Asic3 disrupts spindle afferent sensitivity to dynamic stimuli and impairs mechanotransduction in Pv+ DRG neurons due to substrate deformation-induced neurite stretching, but not to direct neurite indentation. In behavioral tasks, global knockout (Asic3-/-) and Pv-Cre::Asic3f/f mice produce similar deficits in grid and balance beam walking tasks. We conclude that, at least in mouse, ASIC3 is a molecular determinant contributing to dynamic mechanosensitivity in proprioceptors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11460
Number of pages15
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2016

Bibliographical note

This work was supported in Taipei by Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica and grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (NSC100-2321-B-001-018, NSC102-2321-B-001-056, NSC102-2320-B-001-021-MY3, and MOST104-2325-B- 001-011) and in Aberdeen, by the Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK. We thank Dr David J. Anderson and Dr Yoshihiro Yoshihara for providing plasmids containing cDNA of eGFP-f and WGA, respectively. Dr John N. Wood, Dr Bai-Chuang Shyu and Dr Yu-Ting Yan for providing transgenic lines including Nav1.8-Cre, Parvalbumin-Cre, ROSA-Gt26 reporter and CAG-STOPfloxed-GFP reporter mice. Also we thank Dr Silvia Arber for offering Parvalbumin-Cre-specific genotyping primer sequence, Dr Philip LeDuc for critical reading of the manuscript, and the Transgenic Core Facility of Academia Sinica for the help on the generation of the 2 Asic3 mutant mice, as well as Dr Sin-Jhong Cheng of NPAS for technique support on electrophysiology


  • Ion channels in the nervous system
  • Mechanotransduction


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