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Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 42  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 195 - 201

A quantitative study on morphological responses of osteoblastic cells to fluid shear stress

X Liu, X Zhang and I. Lee    


Fluid shear stress (FSS) is widely explored regarding its influence on osteoblasts. In vitro studies have shown that the cytoskeleton is very important in cellular responses to FSS. However, morphological changes, which would reflect the cytoskeleton changes as well as other cellular responses, were rarely quantitatively studied in the past years. Therefore, FSS-induced morphological changes in osteoblasts were quantified in this study. Real-time rapid morphological responses were observed by exposing osteoblasts to FSS with magnitude of 1.2, 1.6, and 1.9 Pa for 1 h. Afterward, osteoblast actin cytoskeleton was labeled with rhodamine phalloidin and observed using fluorescence microscopy. The results showed that 1.6 and 1.9 Pa FFS resulted in significant cellular elongation and reorientation along the direction of fluid flow. Besides, along with the enhancement of FSS magnitude, cytoskeleton aggregated more remarkably. Furthermore, extracellular Ca2+-depleted fluid flow was also used to stimulate osteoblasts for 1 h with magnitude of 1.6 and 1.9 Pa. No morphological change was observed after removing extracellular calcium. Our study suggested that the level of FSS from 1.2 to 1.9 Pa is capable of influencing cellular morphology, and extracellular calcium might play a role in osteoblasts' response to FSS stimulation.

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