Integrity of the cortical actin ring is required for activation of the PI3K/Akt and p38 MAPK signaling pathways in redifferentiation of chondrocytes on chitosan


Corresponding author. Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University, 1370 Sankyuck-dong, Buk-gu, Daegu 702-701, South Korea. Tel.: +82 53 950 7368; fax: +82 53 953 3066.


Cell shape alterations and accompanying cytoskeletal changes have diverse effects on cell function. We have already shown that dedifferentiated chondrocytes have a round cell morphology and undergo redifferentiation when cultured on chitosan membrane. In the present study, we investigate the role of the cytoskeleton in chondrocyte redifferentiation. Chondrocytes obtained from a micromass culture of chick limb bud mesenchymal cells were subcultured four times. Immunofluorescence analysis of F-actin showed cortical distribution of the actin cytoskeleton upon subculture of dedifferentiated chondrocytes on chitosan membrane. Treatment with cytochalasin D disrupted the cortical actin ring formed during cultivation of chondrocytes on the chitosan membrane, and inhibited chondrocyte redifferentiation. Moreover, cytochalasin D inhibited the phosphorylation of Akt and p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK), induced during redifferentiation on chitosan membrane. LY294002, an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol-3-OH-kinase (PI3K), suppressed chondrocyte redifferentiation. These findings suggest that integrity of the actin cytoskeleton is a crucial requirement for PI3K/Akt and p38 MAPK in chondrocyte redifferentiation.