Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The role of microfilaments and microtubules during injury-induced cell migration of corneal endothelial cells in situ along their natural basement membrane has been investigated using organ culture. In the noninjured tissue, actin is localized at or near the plasma membrane, whereas tubulin is observed as a delicate lattice pattern throughout the cytoplasm. Twenty-four hours after a circular freeze injury, cells surrounding the wound area extend processes into this region. Fluorescent microscopy using phallotoxins and anti-tubulin antibodies demonstrated the presence of stress fibers and microtubule reorganization within these cells. Between 24 and 48 h post-injury endothelial cells move into the wound region, and by 48 h, the injury zone is repopulated and the monolayer is becoming resstablished. When injured corneas are placed in media containing 5 × 10-7 M cytochalasin B, endothelial cell migration occurs: but it is slow, and wound closure is not complete even by 72 h. In contrast, when tissues are cultured in the presence of 10-8 M colchicine, cell movement is greatly reduced, complete wound closure does not occur, and endothelial cells at the wound edge fail to display extensions typical of migrating cells. Furthermore, when injured endothelia are exposed to 0.05 μg/ml of actinomycin D for 15 min within the first hour after injury and transferred back into culture media lacking the drug for the duration of the experiment, migration does not occur and the wound persists. These actinomycin D treated cells remain viable as shown by their ability to incorporate 3H-uridine and 3H-thymidine. Fluorescence microscopy of actinomycin D treated tissues revealed the presence of stress filaments but disorganized microtubule patterns. Interestingly, 24 h after injury, if the tissue is exposed to actinomycin D, even for periods of up to 1 h, migration is not inhibited. Our results indicate that injury-induced endothelial cell movement appears to be more dependent on microtubule than microfilament reorganization and may require a critical timing of macromolecular synthesis.
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