Dynamic Fibroblast Cultures: Response to Mechanical Stretching
Volume 1, Issue 3
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Pages 124 - 128http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/cam.1.3.5144
Authors: Francesca Boccafoschi, M. Bosetti, S. Gatti and M. Cannas View affiliations
Mechanical forces play an important role in the organization, growth and function of tissues. Dynamic extracellular environment affects cellular behavior modifying their orientation and their cytoskeleton. In this work, human fibroblasts have been subjected for three hours to increasing substrate deformations (1-25%) applied as cyclic uniaxial stretching at different frequencies (from 0.25Hz to 3Hz). Our objective was to identify whether and in which ranges the different deformations magnitude and rate were the factors responsible of the cell alignment and if actin cytoskeleton modification was involved in these responses. After three hours of cyclically stretched substrate, results evidenced that fibroblasts aligned perpendicularly to the stretch direction at 1% substrate deformation and reached statistically higher orientation at 2% substrate deformation with unmodified values at 5-20%, while 25% substrate deformation induced cellular death. It was also shown that a percentage of cells oriented perpendicularly to the deformation were not influenced by increased frequency of cyclical three hours deformations (0.25-3Hz). Cyclic substrate deformation was shown also to involve actin fibers which orient perpendicularly to the stress direction as well. Thus, we argue that a substrate deformation induces a dynamic change in cytoskeleton able to modify the entire morphology of the cells.
Received: October 3, 2007; Accepted: October 9, 2007