Glia, the primary non-neuronal cells of the central nervous system, were initially believed to bind or glue neurons together and/or provide a supporting scaffold [1, 2]. It is now recognized that these cells provide specialized and essential biological and regulatory functions. Still, their contributions to the overall mechanical properties would also strongly influence the tissue’s tolerance to loading conditions experienced during trauma and potentially regulate of function and growth in neurons and glia [3, 4]. White matter represents an intriguing tissue to appreciate the role of glia in tissue and cellular mechanics. White matter consists of bundles of axons aligned in parallel, which are myelinated by oligodendrocytes, and a network of astrocytes, which interconnect axons and the vascular supply. In this study, we selectively interfered with the glial network during chick embryo development and evaluated the tensile properties of the spinal cord. Myelination was suppressed by injecting ethidium bromide (EB), which is cytotoxic to dividing cells and kills oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, or an antibody against galactocerebroside (αGalC) with serum complement, which interferes with oligodendrocytes during the myelination process without affecting astrocytes.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.