Fibroblasts contracting collagen matrices form transient plasma membrane passages through which the cells take up fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran and Ca2+

Ying Chun Lin, Chin Han Ho, Frederick Grinnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


When fibroblasts contract collagen matrices, the cells activate a Ca2+-dependent cyclic AMP signaling pathway. We have found that contraction also stimulates uptake of fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran molecules from the medium. Our results indicate that fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran enters directly into the cell cytoplasm through 3- to 5-nm plasma membrane passages. These passages, which reseal in less than 5 s in the presence of divalent cations, also are likely sites of Ca2+ uptake during contraction and the first step in contraction-activated cyclic AMP signaling. The formation of plasma membrane passages during fibroblast contraction may reflect a general cellular response to rapid mechanical changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-71
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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