Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids enhance axonal growth in primary sensory and cortical neuronal cell cultures

Emun Abdu, Donald A. Bruun, Dongren Yang, Jun Yang, Bora Inceoglu, Bruce D. Hammock, Nabil J. Alkayed, Pamela J. Lein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


It has recently been reported that soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), the major enzyme that metabolizes epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), is expressed in axons of cortical neurons; however, the functional relevance of axonal sEH localization is unknown. Immunocytochemical analyses demonstrate predominant axonal localization of sEH in primary cultures of not only cortical but also sympathetic and sensory neurons. Morphometric analyses of cultured sensory neurons indicate that exposure to a regioisomeric mixture of EETs (0.01-1.0 ÎM) causes a concentration-dependent increase in axon outgrowth. This axon promoting activity is not a generalized property of all regioisomers of EETs as axonal growth is enhanced in sensory neurons exposed to 14,15-EET but not 8,9- or 11,12-EET. 14,15-EET also promotes axon outgrowth in cultured cortical neurons. Co-exposure to EETs and either of two structurally diverse pharmacological inhibitors of sEH potentiates the axon-enhancing activity of EETs in sensory and cortical neurons. Mass spectrometry indicates that sEH inhibition significantly increases EETs and significantly decreases dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid metabolites in neuronal cell cultures. These data indicate that EETs enhance axon outgrowth and suggest that axonal sEH activity regulates EETs-induced axon outgrowth. These findings suggest a novel therapeutic use of sEH inhibitors in promoting nerve regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-642
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2011


  • axonal outgrowth
  • cortical neurons
  • epoxyeicosatrienoic acids
  • sensory neurons
  • soluble epoxide hydrolase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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