Fibroblasts represent a highly mechanoresponsive cell type known to play key roles in normal and pathologic processes such as wound healing, joint contracture, and hypertrophic scarring. In this study, we used a novel fibroblast-populated collagen lattice (FPCL) isometric tension model, allowing us to apply graded biaxial loads to dermal fibroblasts in a 3-dimensional matrix. Cell morphology demonstrated dose-dependent transition from round cells lacking stress fibers in nonloaded lattices to a broad, elongated morphology with prominent actin stress fibers in 800-mg-loaded lattices. Using quantitative real-time RT-PCR, a dose dependent induction of both collagen-1 and collagen-3 mRNA up to 2.8- and 3-fold, respectively, as well as a 2.5-fold induction of MMP-1 (collagenase) over unloaded FPCLs was observed. Quantitative expression of the proapoptotic gene Bax was down-regulated over 4-fold in mechanically strained FPCLs. These results suggest that mechanical strain up-regulates matrix remodeling genes and down-regulates normal cellular apoptosis, resulting in more cells, each of which produces more matrix. This "double burden" may underlie the pathophysiology of hypertrophic scars and other fibrotic processes in vivo.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Annals of plastic surgery|
|State||Published - Jul 1 2005|
- Matrix proteins
- Wound healing
ASJC Scopus subject areas