Analysis of hydrostatic pressure-induced changes in umbrella cell surface area.
All cells experience and respond to external mechanical stimuli including shear stress, compression, and hydrostatic pressure. Cellular responses can include changes in exocytic and endocytic traffic. An excellent system to study how extracellular forces govern membrane trafficking events is the bladder umbrella cell, which lines the inner surface of the mammalian urinary bladder. It is hypothesized that umbrella cells modulate their apical plasma membrane surface area in response to hydrostatic pressure. Understanding the mechanics of this process is hampered by the lack of a suitable model system. We describe a pressure chamber that allows one to increase hydrostatic pressure in a physiological manner while using capacitance to monitor real-time changes in the apical surface area of the umbrella cell. It is demonstrated that application of hydrostatic pressure results in an increase in umbrella cell apical surface area and a change in the morphology of umbrella cells from roughly cuboidal to squamous. This process is dependent on increases in cytoplasmic Ca(2+). This system will be useful in further dissecting the mechanotransduction pathways involved in cell shape change and regulation of exocytic and endocytic traffic in umbrella cells.
Wang, E; Truschel, S; Apodaca, G
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