Effects of cytoskeletal protein disruption on the deformation of MSCs during chondrogenesis
Vigfusdottir, Agusta Thuridur
Hsieh, Adam H
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Intervertebral disc degeneration has been identified as a main cause for low back pain, a large health problem in the Western world today with 60%-80% of people affected at some point during their lives. Current treatments alleviate the symptoms rather than repair the tissue, but tissue engineering the intervertebral discs to stem degeneration or to repair damaged tissues may be a realistic alternative. Adult bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells are undifferentiated, multipotent cells that have the ability to differentiate into the chondrocyte-like cells found within the nucleus pulposus of the adult intervertebral disc. This study examines one determinant of the cellular mechanotransduction pathway, an important aspect of cell-based therapies. Specifically, we investigate the role of cytoskeletal proteins on resisting mesenchymal stem cell deformation. An improved understanding of the relative contributions of microfilaments and microtubules to cell deformation characteristics will aid in the interpretation of cellular mechanotransduction mechanisms in future studies.