We investigated the mechanotransduction pathway in endothelial cells between their nucleus and adhesions to the extracellular matrix. First, we measured nuclear deformations in response to alterations of cell shape as cells detach from a flat surface. We found that the nuclear deformation appeared to be in direct and immediate response to alterations of the cell adhesion area. The nucleus was then treated as a neo-Hookean compressible material, and we estimated the stress associated with the cytoskeleton and acting on the nucleus during cell rounding. With the obtained stress field, we estimated the magnitude of the forces deforming the nucleus. Considering the initial and final components of this adhesion-cytoskeleton-nucleus force transmission pathway, we found our estimate for the internal forces acting on the nucleus to be on the same order of magnitude as previously measured traction forces, suggesting a direct mechanical link between adhesions and the nucleus.
Characterization of the Nuclear Deformation Caused by Changes in Endothelial Cell Shape
Contributed by the Bioengineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Bioengineering Division May 26, 2004; revision received June 1, 2004. Associate Editor: C. Dong.
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Jean , R. P., Gray , D. S., Spector , A. A., and Chen, C. S. (November 23, 2004). "Characterization of the Nuclear Deformation Caused by Changes in Endothelial Cell Shape ." ASME. J Biomech Eng. October 2004; 126(5): 552–558. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1800559
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