Endothelial cell monolayer integrity. I. Characterization of dense peripheral band of microfilaments.
Although the endothelial cell (EC) cytoskeleton has been studied both in vitro and in vivo, little is known about its role in endothelial integrity. We have previously suggested that specific EC microfilament (MF) structure, which we have termed the "dense peripheral band (DPB)," may play a major role in this process. We have extended our studies to characterize this structure in pig aortic ECs in vitro. During the growth of EC cultures, the DPB appears only when the cultures have attained confluency. Using double fluorescent labeling, we found that alpha-actinin, myosin, and tropomyosin colocalized with the F-actin making up the DPB. Occasional microtubules were present in this region, although there was no preferred association between microtubules and the DPB. Colocalization studies revealed vinculin plaques at the cell-cell interface. Thin MFs extended from the DPB into the cytoplasmic side of these plaques. The DPB was completely disrupted by low dose cytochalasin B within 30 minutes, whereas many central MF bundles were still present at 24 hours. The results of this study suggest that the DPB is a distinct structure in the confluent EC monolayer and is closely associated with the ability of ECs to form and maintain the EC monolayer. The disruption of the DPB as an important initial event in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis is discussed.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association