UCSD scientists have gained a better understanding of how repetitive stretching of endothelial cells that line arteries can make them healthy and resistant to vascular diseases.
Top: When aortic endothelial cells were stretched in the up-and-down orientation shown here, they grew "stress fibers" (red) in a "healty" alignment perpendicular to the axis of stretch. Bottom: When researchers inhibited a protein called Rho in aortic endothelial cells, stress fibers grew in an "unhealthy" direction parallel to the axis of stretch.
Each of these bovine aorta endothelial cells were stretched along an axis that runs up and down in these photographs. An unstretched cell, top, produced "stress fiber" filaments in random directions, but as the stretching increased from 3 percent of a cell length, middle, to 10 percent of a cell length, stress fibers were increasingly likely to be aligned perpendiculat to the stretching force.
UCSD researchers stretched cells in a workout chamber the size of a credit card to gain a better understanding of how repetitive stretching of endothelial cells that line arteries can make them healthy and resistant to vascular diseases.
Bioengineering researchers at UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering will report in the Nov. 1 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that arterial endothelial cells subjected to repeated stretching (10 percent of their length, 60 times per minute) produced intracellular arrays of parallel "stress fibers" in a few hours.
Rex Graham | EurekAlert!
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