ANALYSIS OF SPATIAL DISTRIBUTIONS OF CELLULAR MOLECULES DURING MECHANICAL STRESSING OF CELL SURFACE RECEPTORS USING CONFOCAL MICROSCOPY

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Abstract

Confocal laser scanning microscopy represents a suitable technique to study the localization of cellular components in three dimension. The authors used this technique to analyse cellular events related to mechanical stimulation of integrin receptors on the cell surface. By performing optical sections the distribution of integrin receptors on the apical surface of an osteoblastic cell was determined. Concerning intracellular compartimentalization of signal transduction events, it was demonstrated that mechanical stimulation of integrins induced their linkage to the cytoskeleton. Cytoskeletally associated proteins like vinculin and talin accumulated in the vicinity of the site where the mechanical stress was applied to integrins on the cell surface. Optical sections revealed that clustering of these proteins proceeded to the base of the cell with gradually decreasing extent. In summary, it was demonstrated that the local distribution of cellular components is an important factor in mechanically induced signal transduction.

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