Effect of Cytoskeletal Disruption on Mechanotransduction of Hydrostatic Pressure by C3H10T1/2 Murine Fibroblasts

Joon W Shim1, Dwayne A Wise2, Steven H Elder*, 1
1 Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, USA
2 Biological Science, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, USA

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© Shim et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, P.O. Box 9632, MS 39762, USA; Tel: 662-325-3282; Fax: 662-325-3853; E-mail:


Cyclic hydrostatic pressure of physiological magnitude (< 10 MPa) stimulates chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells, but mechanotransduction mechanisms are not well understood. It was hypothesized that an intact cytoskeleton would be required for uninhibited mechanotransduction of hydrostatic pressure. Therefore we examined the effects of drugs which selectively interfere with actin and tubulin polymerization on pressure-induced upregulation of aggrecan and col2a1 (type II collagen) mRNA expression. C3H10T1/2 cells were cultured as pellets in either 4µM cytochalasin D or 4µM nocodazole and subjected to 3 days of cyclic hydrostatic compression (1 Hz, 5 MPa, 2 h per day). Phalloidin staining and indirect immunostaining with anti α-tubulin antibody confirmed disruption of microfilament and microtubule assemblies, respectively. Real time RT-PCR revealed that both drugs substantially lowered the basal level of aggrecan and col2a1 mRNA, but that neither drug prevented a pressure-stimulated increase in gene expression relative to the altered basal state. Thus upregulation of macromolecular gene expression by cyclic hydrostatic pressure did not require a completely intact cytoskeleton.

Keywords: Mechanotransduction, hydrostatic pressure, cytoskeleton, aggrecan, collagen type II.