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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cultured microvascular endothelial cells (MVEC) differ in cytoskeleton, expression of cadherins and fibronectin matrix. A study under the influence of interferon-gamma.

Endothelial cells are known to undergo transitions in cell shape during long-term culture. Thus, the assumption that the separate phenotypes of microvascular endothelial cells (MVEC) recently isolated from bovine corpus luteum represent constitutively different cell strains cannot automatically be made. For this reason, particular morphological qualities from four of five reported MVEC types were studied. Confluent cultures of MVEC types 1, 3, 4 and 5 were either left untreated or exposed to recombinant bovine interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma; 200 units/0.5 ml culture medium) for 3 days. Paraformaldehyde-fixed monolayers were permeabilized with Triton X-100 prior to the detection of filamentous actin, using phalloidin-FITC. Vimentin filaments, cytokeratin filaments, microtubules, E- and N-cadherins as molecules of cell adhesion plaques, and fibronectin filaments were localized by the application of specific antibodies in combination with epifluorescence microscopy. Cells from untreated single cultures uniformly and reproducibly showed an actin cytoskeleton that distinguished the particular MVEC type. MVEC type 1 presented a circular band of fine actin filaments. MVEC type 3 preferentially had developed a starburst-like actin pattern. MVEC type 4 mainly exhibited a polygonal network. MVEC type 5 showed a prominent circular band of thick microfilament bundles from which short filaments radiated. Cytokeratin filaments were noted in MVEC type 1 only. Vimentin filaments occurred as a dense network constricted to the central area in MVEC type 1, while they were spread out in MVEC types 3 and 4. A wavy path comparable to the course of microtubules was apparent in MVEC type 5. Fibronectin assembled into two differently shaped layers at the basal cell side of each MVEC type. Under IFN-gamma treatment, cytoskeletal diversities were maintained between the MVEC types, yet each MVEC type showed specific modulations to its cytoskeleton and to its fibronectin matrix. Upregulation of anti-E-cadherin labelling was detected in MVEC type 1, showing a fluorescent cell border of linear contour. The upregulation of E-cadherin by IFN-gamma treatment could also be demonstrated by western blotting, which revealed a 135 kDa full-sized molecule and a 95 kDa tryptic fragment characteristic of cadherins. Anti-N-cadherin labelling was evident for MVEC type 5, giving rise to a fluorescent punctate cell margin. Our investigations support the existence of truly separate MVEC types.[1]


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