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Event: 1582

Key Event Title

The KE title should describe a discrete biological change that can be measured. It should generally define the biological object or process being measured and whether it is increased, decreased, or otherwise definably altered relative to a control state. For example “enzyme activity, decreased”, “hormone concentration, increased”, or “growth rate, decreased”, where the specific enzyme or hormone being measured is defined. More help

Impaired axonial transport

Short name
The KE short name should be a reasonable abbreviation of the KE title and is used in labelling this object throughout the AOP-Wiki. The short name should be less than 80 characters in length. More help
Impaired axonial transport

Biological Context

Structured terms, selected from a drop-down menu, are used to identify the level of biological organization for each KE. Note, KEs should be defined within a particular level of biological organization. Only KERs should be used to transition from one level of organization to another. Selection of the level of biological organization defines which structured terms will be available to select when defining the Event Components (below). More help
Level of Biological Organization

Cell term

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.The biological context describes the location/biological environment in which the event takes place.  For molecular/cellular events this would include the cellular context (if known), organ context, and species/life stage/sex for which the event is relevant. For tissue/organ events cellular context is not applicable.  For individual/population events, the organ context is not applicable. More help

Organ term

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.The biological context describes the location/biological environment in which the event takes place.  For molecular/cellular events this would include the cellular context (if known), organ context, and species/life stage/sex for which the event is relevant. For tissue/organ events cellular context is not applicable.  For individual/population events, the organ context is not applicable. More help

Key Event Components

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.Because one of the aims of the AOP-KB is to facilitate de facto construction of AOP networks through the use of shared KE and KER elements, authors are also asked to define their KEs using a set of structured ontology terms (Event Components). In the absence of structured terms, the same KE can readily be defined using a number of synonymous titles (read by a computer as character strings). In order to make these synonymous KEs more machine-readable, KEs should also be defined by one or more “event components” consisting of a biological process, object, and action with each term originating from one of 22 biological ontologies (Ives, et al., 2017; See List). Biological process describes dynamics of the underlying biological system (e.g., receptor signalling). The biological object is the subject of the perturbation (e.g., a specific biological receptor that is activated or inhibited). Action represents the direction of perturbation of this system (generally increased or decreased; e.g., ‘decreased’ in the case of a receptor that is inhibited to indicate a decrease in the signalling by that receptor).Note that when editing Event Components, clicking an existing Event Component from the Suggestions menu will autopopulate these fields, along with their source ID and description. To clear any fields before submitting the event component, use the 'Clear process,' 'Clear object,' or 'Clear action' buttons. If a desired term does not exist, a new term request may be made via Term Requests. Event components may not be edited; to edit an event component, remove the existing event component and create a new one using the terms that you wish to add. More help

Key Event Overview

AOPs Including This Key Event

All of the AOPs that are linked to this KE will automatically be listed in this subsection. This table can be particularly useful for derivation of AOP networks including the KE. Clicking on the name of the AOP will bring you to the individual page for that AOP. More help
AOP Name Role of event in AOP Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
Microtubule interacting drugs lead to peripheral neuropathy KeyEvent Arthur Author (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite
tau-AOP KeyEvent Brendan Ferreri-Hanberry (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite


This is a structured field used to identify specific agents (generally chemicals) that can trigger the KE. Stressors identified in this field will be linked to the KE in a machine-readable manner, such that, for example, a stressor search would identify this as an event the stressor can trigger. NOTE: intermediate or downstream KEs in one AOP may function as MIEs in other AOPs, meaning that stressor information may be added to the KE description, even if it is a downstream KE in the pathway currently under development.Information concerning the stressors that may trigger an MIE can be defined using a combination of structured and unstructured (free-text) fields. For example, structured fields may be used to indicate specific chemicals for which there is evidence of an interaction relevant to this MIE. By linking the KE description to a structured chemical name, it will be increasingly possible to link the MIE to other sources of chemical data and information, enhancing searchability and inter-operability among different data-sources and knowledgebases. The free-text section “Evidence for perturbation of this MIE by stressor” can be used both to identify the supporting evidence for specific stressors triggering the MIE as well as to define broad chemical categories or other properties that classify the stressors able to trigger the MIE for which specific structured terms may not exist. More help

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) can be selected from an ontology. In many cases, individual species identified in these structured fields will be those for which the strongest evidence used in constructing the AOP was available in relation to this KE. More help

Life Stages

The structured ontology terms for life-stage are more comprehensive than those for taxa, but may still require further description/development and explanation in the free text section. More help

Sex Applicability

The authors must select from one of the following: Male, female, mixed, asexual, third gender, hermaphrodite, or unspecific. More help

Key Event Description

A description of the biological state being observed or measured, the biological compartment in which it is measured, and its general role in the biology should be provided. For example, the biological state being measured could be the activity of an enzyme, the expression of a gene or abundance of an mRNA transcript, the concentration of a hormone or protein, neuronal activity, heart rate, etc. The biological compartment may be a particular cell type, tissue, organ, fluid (e.g., plasma, cerebrospinal fluid), etc. The role in the biology could describe the reaction that an enzyme catalyses and the role of that reaction within a given metabolic pathway; the protein that a gene or mRNA transcript codes for and the function of that protein; the function of a hormone in a given target tissue, physiological function of an organ, etc. Careful attention should be taken to avoid reference to other KEs, KERs or AOPs. Only describe this KE as a single isolated measurable event/state. This will ensure that the KE is modular and can be used by other AOPs, thereby facilitating construction of AOP networks. More help

The cytoskeleton plays an important role in neurons as it is required for the typical neuronal architecture of one long process, the axon, and several shorter dendrites. [1] Furthermore, the intact cytoskeleton is also of high importance as it is needed for processes like axonal transport. As axons lack the machinery to synthesize proteins, all necessary proteins have to be transported from the cell body to the periphery. Microtubules which are a basic element of the cytoskeleton play an important role in axonal transport and the maintenance of neurons. [2] They are highly dynamic and polarized structures with a stable minus end and a dynamic plus end. In axons, the plus end is directed away from the soma. [1] Microtubules serve as molecular tracks in neurons to ensure the transport of cargoes to different parts of the cell as well as the clearance of damaged cell organelles. The kinesins are microtubule-based molecular motors and are necessary for the anterograde transport of materials needed for maintenance of axons and synapses. [3, 4] Retrograde transport of degradation products from the axon/synapse back to the cell body is crucial for neuronal maintenance and survival as well. [5] Retrograde transport is carried out by dynein-motorproteins. [6]

How It Is Measured or Detected

One of the primary considerations in evaluating AOPs is the relevance and reliability of the methods with which the KEs can be measured. The aim of this section of the KE description is not to provide detailed protocols, but rather to capture, in a sentence or two, per method, the type(s) of measurements that can be employed to evaluate the KE and the relative level of scientific confidence in those measurements. Methods that can be used to detect or measure the biological state represented in the KE should be briefly described and/or cited. These can range from citation of specific validated test guidelines, citation of specific methods published in the peer reviewed literature, or outlines of a general protocol or approach (e.g., a protein may be measured by ELISA).Key considerations regarding scientific confidence in the measurement approach include whether the assay is fit for purpose, whether it provides a direct or indirect measure of the biological state in question, whether it is repeatable and reproducible, and the extent to which it is accepted in the scientific and/or regulatory community. Information can be obtained from the OECD Test Guidelines website and the EURL ECVAM Database Service on Alternative Methods to Animal Experimentation (DB-ALM). ?

- Vesicle motility assay: Axoplasm from squid giant axons is isolated and kept in axoplasm buffer. Preparations are analysed using a Zeiss Axiomat and organelle velocities are measured either in an automated process or by matching calibrated cursor movements to the speed of moving vesicles in agreement of two observers. [7-9]

- Kinesin-driven microtubule gliding assay: Slide chambers are covered with kinesins which adhere e.g. to specific antibodies on the glass slides. Rhodamine-labelled tubulin and unlabelled tubulin are mixed and assembled to microtubule structures. Microtubules are applied to the chamber and the rhodamine fluorescence is visualized to evaluate microtubule gliding. Microtubule-bodies are located and tracked to collect data on gliding velocity, trajectory curvature and microtubule length. [7, 10]

- Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) microinjection: HRP is injected into dorsal root ganglia neurons and visualized by 3,3’-diaminobenzidine. Microscope recordings of the neurons showing the transport of HRP are evaluated and the transport length is measured. [11]

- Mitochondrial trafficking: Cells are incubated with drug or DMSO solution and afterwards mitochondria are labelled with MitoTracker Green FM. Cells are kept in a live cell chamber and imaged in regular intervals. The time-lapse is used to track mitochondrial movement in neurites. [12]

- Axonal transport in mouse sciatic nerve: The drug is administered to mice intravenously. Mice are anesthetized and the left sciatic nerve is exposed and ligated at two points. After 24h, the ligated sciatic nerves are dissected and segments from proximal and distal sides of the ligation are collected, homogenized and analysed by Western blot. [12]

Domain of Applicability

This free text section should be used to elaborate on the scientific basis for the indicated domains of applicability and the WoE calls (if provided). While structured terms may be selected to define the taxonomic, life stage and sex applicability (see structured applicability terms, above) of the KE, the structured terms may not adequately reflect or capture the overall biological applicability domain (particularly with regard to taxa). Likewise, the structured terms do not provide an explanation or rationale for the selection. The free-text section on evidence for taxonomic, life stage, and sex applicability can be used to elaborate on why the specific structured terms were selected, and provide supporting references and background information.  More help


List of the literature that was cited for this KE description. Ideally, the list of references, should conform, to the extent possible, with the OECD Style Guide ( (OECD, 2015). More help

1. Baas, P.W., et al., Stability properties of neuronal microtubules. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken), 2016. 73(9): p. 442-60.

2. Hirokawa, N., Axonal transport and the cytoskeleton. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 1993. 3(5): p. 724-731.

3. Leopold, P.L., et al., Association of kinesin with characterized membrane-bounded organelles. Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton, 1992. 23(1): p. 19-33.

4. Elluru, R.G., G.S. Bloom, and S.T. Brady, Fast axonal transport of kinesin in the rat visual system: functionality of kinesin heavy chain isoforms. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 1995. 6(1): p. 21-40.

5. Delcroix, J.-D., et al., Trafficking the NGF signal: implications for normal and degenerating neurons, in Progress in Brain Research. 2004, Elsevier. p. 1-23.

6. Susalka, S.J. and K.K. Pfister, Cytoplasmic dynein subunit heterogeneity: implications for axonal transport. Journal of Neurocytology, 2000. 29(11): p. 819-829.

7. LaPointe, N.E., et al., Effects of eribulin, vincristine, paclitaxel and ixabepilone on fast axonal transport and kinesin-1 driven microtubule gliding: implications for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Neurotoxicology, 2013. 37: p. 231-9.

8. Morfini, G., et al., Tau binding to microtubules does not directly affect microtubule‐based vesicle motility. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 2007. 85(12): p. 2620-2630.

9. Morfini, G., et al., JNK mediates pathogenic effects of polyglutamine-expanded androgen receptor on fast axonal transport. Nature Neuroscience, 2006. 9: p. 907.

10. Peck, A., et al., Tau isoform‐specific modulation of kinesin‐driven microtubule gliding rates and trajectories as determined with tau‐stabilized microtubules. Cytoskeleton, 2011. 68(1): p. 44-55.

11. Theiss, C. and K. Meller, Taxol impairs anterograde axonal transport of microinjected horseradish peroxidase in dorsal root ganglia neurons in vitro. Cell Tissue Res, 2000. 299(2): p. 213-24.

12. Smith, J.A., et al., Structural Basis for Induction of Peripheral Neuropathy by Microtubule-Targeting Cancer Drugs. Cancer Research, 2016. 76(17): p. 5115-5123.