Contractility-induced self-organization of smooth muscle cells: from multilayer cell sheets to dynamic three-dimensional clusters - Sorbonne Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Communications Biology Year : 2023

Contractility-induced self-organization of smooth muscle cells: from multilayer cell sheets to dynamic three-dimensional clusters

Abstract

Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are mural cells that play a vital contractile function in many tissues. Abnormalities in SMC organization are associated with many diseases including atherosclerosis, asthma, and uterine fibroids. Various studies have reported that SMCs cultured on flat surfaces can spontaneously form three-dimensional clusters whose organization resembles that encountered in some of these pathological settings. Remarkably, how these structures form remains unknown. Here we combine in vitro experiments and physical modeling to show that three-dimensional clusters initiate when cellular contractile forces induce a hole in a flat SMC sheet, a process that can be modeled as the brittle fracture of a viscoelastic material. The subsequent evolution of the nascent cluster can be modeled as an active dewetting process with cluster shape evolution driven by a balance between cluster surface tension, arising from both cell contractility and adhesion, and cluster viscous dissipation. The description of the physical mechanisms governing the spontaneous emergence of these intriguing three-dimensional clusters may offer insight into SMC-related disorders.
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hal-04025637 , version 1 (12-03-2023)

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Xiuyu Wang, David Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Thomas Vourc’h, Pascal Silberzan, Abdul I Barakat. Contractility-induced self-organization of smooth muscle cells: from multilayer cell sheets to dynamic three-dimensional clusters. Communications Biology, 2023, 6 (1), pp.262. ⟨10.1038/s42003-023-04578-8⟩. ⟨hal-04025637⟩
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