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Thrombin-induced contraction in alveolar epithelial cells probed by traction microscopy
Gavara i Casas, Núria; Sunyer, Raimon; Roca-Cusachs Soulere, Pere; Farré Ventura, Ramon; Rotger i Estapé, Maria del Mar; Navajas Navarro, Daniel
Universitat de Barcelona
Contractile tension of alveolar epithelial cells plays a major role in the force balance that regulates the structural integrity of the alveolar barrier. The aim of this work was to study thrombin-induced contractile forces of alveolar epithelial cells. A549 alveolar epithelial cells were challenged with thrombin, and time course of contractile forces was measured by traction microscopy. The cells exhibited basal contraction with total force magnitude 55.0 ± 12.0 nN (mean ± SE, n = 12). Traction forces were exerted predominantly at the cell periphery and pointed to the cell center. Thrombin (1 U/ml) induced a fast and sustained 2.5-fold increase in traction forces, which maintained peripheral and centripetal distribution. Actin fluorescent staining revealed F-actin polymerization and enhancement of peripheral actin rim. Disruption of actin cytoskeleton with cytochalasin D (5 µM, 30 min) and inhibition of myosin light chain kinase with ML-7 (10 µM, 30 min) and Rho kinase with Y-27632 (10 µM, 30 min) markedly depressed basal contractile tone and abolished thrombin-induced cell contraction. Therefore, the contractile response of alveolar epithelial cells to the inflammatory agonist thrombin was mediated by actin cytoskeleton remodeling and actomyosin activation through myosin light chain kinase and Rho kinase signaling pathways. Thrombin-induced contractile tension might further impair alveolar epithelial barrier integrity in the injured lung.
Fisiologia cel·lular
Cell physiology
(c) The American Physiological Society, 2006
The American Physiological Society

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