Low concentrations (0.11-1.7μgml- 1) of functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which are multi-walled CNTs modified by amino groups, when added with nerve growth factor (NGF), promoted outgrowth of neuronal neurites in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and rat pheochromocytoma cell line PC12h cells in culture media. The quantity of active extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was higher after the addition of both 0.85 μgml- 1 CNTs and NGF than that with NGF alone. CNTs increased the number of cells with neurite outgrowth in DRG neurons and PC12h cells after the inhibition of the ERK signaling pathway using a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor. Active ERK proteins were detected in MEK inhibitor-treated neurons after the addition of CNTs to the culture medium. These results demonstrate that CNTs may stimulate neurite outgrowth by activation of the ERK signaling pathway. Thus, CNTs are biocompatible and are promising candidates for biological applications and devices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering