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In vitro expression of the alpha-smooth muscle actin isoform by rat lung mesenchymal cells: regulation by culture condition and transforming growth factor-beta.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Publication Date
Volume
9
Issue
1
Pages
10–18
Identifiers
PMID: 8338671
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

alpha-Smooth muscle actin (alpha SM actin)-containing cells recently have been demonstrated in intraalveolar lesions in both rat and human tissues following lung injury. In order to develop model systems for the study of such cells, we examined cultured lung cell lines for this phenotype. The adult rat lung fibroblast-like "RL" cell lines were found to express alpha SM actin mRNA and protein and to organize this actin into stress fiber-like structures. Immunocytochemical staining of subclones of the RL87 line demonstrated the presence in the cultures of at least four cell phenotypes, one that fails to express alpha SM actin and three distinct morphologic types that do express alpha SM actin. The proportion of cellular actin that is the alpha-isoform was modulated by the culture conditions. RL cells growing at low density expressed minimal alpha SM actin. On reaching confluent densities, however, alpha SM actin increased to at least 20% of the total actin content. This effect, combined with the observation that the most immunoreactive cells were those that displayed overlapping cell processes in culture, suggests that cell-cell contact may be involved in actin isoform regulation in these cells. Similar to the response of some smooth muscle cell lines, alpha SM actin expression in RL cells also was promoted by conditions, e.g., maintenance in low serum medium, which minimize cell division. alpha SM actin expression was modulated in RL cells by the growth factor transforming growth factor-beta. Addition of this cytokine to growing cells substantially elevated the proportion of alpha SM actin protein.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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