Orientation and length of mammalian skeletal myocytes in response to a unidirectional stretch.
Effects of mechanical forces exerted on mammalian skeletal muscle cells during development were studied using an in vitro model to unidirectionally stretch cultured C2C12 cells grown on silastic membrane. Previous models to date have not studied these responses of the mammalian system specifically. The silastic membrane upon which these cells were grown exhibited linear strain behavior over the range of 3.6-14.6% strain, with a Poisson's ratio of approximately 0.5. To mimic murine in utero long bone growth, cell substrates were stretched at an average strain rate of 2.36%/day for 4 days or 1.77%/day for 6 days with an overall membrane strain of 9.5% and 10.6%, respectively. Both control and stretched fibers stained positively for the contractile protein, alpha-actinin, demonstrating muscle fiber development. An effect of stretch on orientation and length of myofibers was observed. At both strain rates, stretched fibers aligned at a smaller angle relative to the direction of stretch and were significantly longer compared to randomly oriented control fibers. There was no effect of duration of stretch on orientation or length, suggesting the cellular responses are independent of strain rate for the range tested. These results demonstrate that, under conditions simulating mammalian long bone growth, cultured myocytes respond to mechanical forces by lengthening and orienting along the direction of stretch.
Collinsworth, AM; Torgan, CE; Nagda, SN; Rajalingam, RJ; Kraus, WE; Truskey, GA
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