Commenced in January 2007
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Realignment of f-actin Cytoskeleton in Osteocytes after Mechanical Loading

Authors: R. S. A. Nesbitt, J. Macione, E. Babollah, B. Adu-baffour, S. P. Kotha


F-actin fibrils are the cytoskeleton of osteocytes. They react in a dynamic manner to mechanical loading, and strength and reposition their efforts to reinforce the cells structure. We hypothesize that f-actin is temporarly disrupted after loading and repolymerizes in a new orientation to oppose the applied load. In vitro studies are conducted to determine f-actin disruption after varying mechanical stimulus parameters that are known to affect bone formation. Results indicate that the f-actin cytoskeleton is disrupted in vitro as a function of applied mechanical stimulus parameters and that the f-actin bundles reassemble after loading induced disruption within 3 minutes after cessation of loading. The disruption of the factin cytoskeleton depends on the magnitude of stretch, the numbers of loading cycles, frequency, the insertion of rest between loading cycles and extracellular calcium. In vivo studies also demonstrate disruption of the f-actin cytoskeleton in cells embedded in the bone matrix immediately after mechanical loading. These studies suggest that adaptation of the f-actin fiber bundles of the cytoskeleton in response to applied loads occurs by disruption and subsequent repolymerization.

Keywords: disruption, Mechanical loading of osteocytes, f-actin cytoskeleton, re-polymerization

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