Send to

Choose Destination
Microsc Microanal. 2017 Oct;23(5):1013-1023. doi: 10.1017/S1431927617012454. Epub 2017 Sep 12.

Quantitative Studies of Endothelial Cell Fibronectin and Filamentous Actin (F-Actin) Coalignment in Response to Shear Stress.

Author information

1Key Laboratory for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Ministry of Education,School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering,Beihang University,Beijing 100191,People's Republic of China.


Both fibronectin (FN) and filamentous actin (F-actin) fibers play a critical role for endothelial cells (ECs) in responding to shear stress and modulating cell alignment and functions. FN is dynamically coupled to the F-actin cytoskeleton via focal adhesions. However, it is unclear how ECs cooperatively remodel their subcellular FN matrix and intracellular F-actin cytoskeleton in response to shear stress. Current studies are hampered by the lack of a reliable and sensitive quantification method of FN orientation. In this study, we developed a MATLAB-based feature enhancement method to quantify FN and F-actin orientation. The role of F-actin in FN remodeling was also studied by treating ECs with cytochalasin D. We have demonstrated that FN and F-actin codistributed and coaligned parallel to the flow direction, and that F-actin alignment played an essential role in regulating FN alignment in response to shear stress. Our findings offer insight into how ECs cooperatively remodel their subcellular ECM and intracellular F-actin cytoskeleton in response to mechanical stimuli, and are valuable for vascular tissue engineering.


F-actin; coalignment; endothelial cell; fibronectin; shear stress

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center