Recent results demonstrate the exquisite sensitivity of cell orientation responses to the pattern of imposed deformation. Cells undergoing pure in-plane uniaxial stretching orient differently than cells that are simply elongated—likely because the latter stimulus produces simultaneous compression in the unstretched direction. It is not known, however, if cells respond differently to pure stretching than to pure compression. This study was performed to address this issue. Human aortic endothelial cells were seeded on deformable silicone membranes and subjected to various magnitudes and rates of pure stretching or compression. The cell orientation and cytoskeletal stress fiber organization responses were examined. Both stretching and compression resulted in magnitude-dependent but not rate-dependent orientation responses away from the deforming direction. Compression produced a slower temporal response than stretching. However, stress fiber reorganization responses–early disruption followed by reassembly into parallel arrays along the cells’ long axes were similar between the two stimuli. Moreover, the cell orientation and stress fiber responses appeared to be uncoupled since disruption of stress fibers was not required for the cell orientation. Moreover, parallel actin stress fibers were observed at oblique angles to the deforming direction indicating that stress fibers can reassemble when undergoing deformation.
Comparison of the Effects of Cyclic Stretching and Compression on Endothelial Cell Morphological Responses
Contributed by the Bioengineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Bioengineering Division June 13, 2003; revision received February 20, 2004. Associate Editor: C. Dong.
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Wille, J. J., Ambrosi, C. M., and Yin, F. C. (November 23, 2004). "Comparison of the Effects of Cyclic Stretching and Compression on Endothelial Cell Morphological Responses ." ASME. J Biomech Eng. October 2004; 126(5): 545–551. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1798053
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