Author(s): Porter RA, Brown RA, Eastwood M, Occleston NL, Khaw PT
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Abstract Contraction and scarring of the cornea and conjunctiva following disease or injury are major causes of visual morbidity. The aim of this study was to identify any specific ultrastructural features of ocular fibroblast behavior in different collagen lattices in order to understand some of the mechanisms of cell-mediated contraction. Normal human Tenon's capsule fibroblasts were cultured within both restrained and floating collagen lattices for periods of up to 13 days and then analyzed using transmission electron microscopy. The contractile force of these fibroblasts was also tested using the culture force monitor, an instrument capable of measuring the minute forces exerted by cells within a collagen lattice. The results showed differences in the behavior of fibroblasts cultured in the two gel models. The features seen in restrained gels suggest that fibroblasts were actively migrating across and through the lattice. These migratory features were not seen to the same extent in untethered gels, which lack the inherent tension and support of the tethered model. We hypothesize that contraction of the collagen matrix in tethered lattices is due to cellular migration and that this fact cannot be ascertained from untethered gels. Both lattice models have experimental value, but it is important to appreciate what mechanical signals cells receive from the matrix in order to understand cellular behavior.
This article was published in Wound Repair Regen
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta