Nanotopography-induced changes in focal adhesions, cytoskeletal organization, and mechanical properties of human mesenchymal stem cells.
The growth of stem cells can be modulated by physical factors such as extracellular matrix nanotopography. We hypothesize that nanotopography modulates cell behavior by changing the integrin clustering and focal adhesion (FA) assembly, leading to changes in cytoskeletal organization and cell mechanical properties. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) cultured on 350 nm gratings of tissue-culture polystyrene (TCPS) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) showed decreased expression of integrin subunits alpha2, alpha , alpha V, beta2, beta 3 and beta 4 compared to the unpatterned controls. On gratings, the elongated hMSCs exhibited an aligned actin cytoskeleton, while on unpatterned controls, spreading cells showed a random but denser actin cytoskeleton network. Expression of cytoskeleton and FA components was also altered by the nanotopography as reflected in the mechanical properties measured by atomic force microscopy (AFM) indentation. On the rigid TCPS, hMSCs on gratings exhibited lower instantaneous and equilibrium Young's moduli and apparent viscosity. On the softer PDMS, the effects of nanotopography were not significant. However, hMSCs cultured on PDMS showed lower cell mechanical properties than those on TCPS, regardless of topography. These suggest that both nanotopography and substrate stiffness could be important in determining mechanical properties, while nanotopography may be more dominant in determining the organization of the cytoskeleton and FAs.
Yim, EKF; Darling, EM; Kulangara, K; Guilak, F; Leong, KW
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