The involvement of integrin β1 signaling in the migration and myofibroblastic differentiation of skin fibroblasts on anisotropic collagen-containing nanofibers

Chengyang Huang, Xiaoling Fu, Jie Liu, Yanmei Qi, Shaohua Li, Hongjun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

Utilization of nanofibrous matrices for skin wound repair holds great promise due to their morphological and dimensional similarity to native extracellular matrix (ECM). It becomes highly desired to understand how various nanofibrous matrices regulate skin cell behaviors and intracellular signaling pathways, important to tuning the functionality of tissue-engineered skin grafts and affecting the wound healing process. In this study, the phenotypic expressions of normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs) on collagen-containing nanofibrous matrices with either isotropic (i.e., fibers collected randomly with no alignment) or anisotropic (i.e., fibers collected with alignment) fiber organizations were studied by immunostaining, migration assay and molecular analyses. Results showed that both nanofibrous matrices supported the attachment and growth of NHDFs similarly, while showing different cell morphology with distinct variation in focal adhesion formation and distribution. Anisotropic nanofibers significantly triggered the integrin β1 signaling pathway in NHDFs as evidenced by an increase of active integrin β1 (130 kD mature form) and phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) at Tyr-397. Anisotropic matrices also promoted the migration of NHDFs along the fibers, while neutralization of the integrin β1 activity abolished this promotion. Moreover, the fibroblast-to-myofibroblast differentiation was greatly enhanced for the NHDFs cultured on anisotropic nanofibrous matrices over a period of 48 h. Inhibition of cellular integrin β1 activity by neutralizing antibody eliminated this enhancement. These findings suggest the important role of integrin β1 signaling pathway in regulating the nanofiber-induced fibroblast phenotypic alteration and providing insightful understanding of the possible application of collagen-containing nanofibrous matrices for skin regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1791-1800
Number of pages10
JournalBiomaterials
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials

Keywords

  • Anisotropic nanofibers
  • Fibroblast-to-myofibroblast differentiation
  • Integrin β1 signaling
  • Normal human dermal fibroblasts

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