Sensitivity of fibroblasts and their cytoskeletons to substratum topographies: topographic guidance and topographic compensation by micromachined grooves of different dimensions

TitleSensitivity of fibroblasts and their cytoskeletons to substratum topographies: topographic guidance and topographic compensation by micromachined grooves of different dimensions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsOakley, C., N. A. Jaeger, and D. M. Brunette
JournalExp Cell Res
Volume234
Pagination413-24
Date PublishedAug
Abstract

Fibroblasts alter their shape, orientation, and direction of movement to align with the direction of micromachined grooves, exhibiting a phenomenon termed topographic guidance. In this study we examined the ability of the microtubule and actin microfilament bundle systems, either in combination with or independently from each other, to affect alignment of human gingival fibroblasts on sets of micromachined grooves of different dimensions. To assess specifically the role of microtubules and actin microfilament bundles, we examined cell alignment, over time, in the presence or absence of specific inhibitors of microtubules (colcemid) and actin microfilament bundles (cytochalasin B). Using time-lapse videomicroscopy, computer-assisted morphometry and confocal microscopy of the cytoskeleton we found that the dimensions of the grooves influenced the kinetics of cell alignment irrespective of whether cytoskeletons were intact or disturbed. Either an intact microtubule or an intact actin microfilament-bundle system could produce cell alignment with an appropriate substratum. Cells with intact microtubules aligned to smaller topographic features than cells deficient in microtubules. Moreover, cells deficient in microtubules required significantly more time to become aligned. An unexpected finding was that very narrow 0.5-microm-wide and 0.5-microm-deep grooves aligned cells deficient in actin microfilament bundles (cytochalasin B-treated) better than untreated control cells but failed to align cells deficient in microtubules yet containing microfilament bundles (colcemid treated). Thus, the microtubule system appeared to be the principal but not sole cytoskeletal substratum-response mechanism affecting topographic guidance of human gingival fibroblasts. This study also demonstrated that micromachined substrata can be useful in dissecting the role of microtubules and actin microfilament bundles in cell behaviors such as contact guidance and cell migration without the use of drugs such as cytochalasin and colcemid.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1006/excr.1997.3625
DOI10.1006/excr.1997.3625

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