The role of the F-actin cytoskeleton in cell volume regulation was studied in Ehrlich ascites tumor cells, using a quantitative rhodamine-phalloidin assay, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and electronic cell sizing. A hypotonic challenge (160 mOsm) was associated with a decrease in cellular F-actin content at 1 and 3 min and a hypertonic challenge (600 mOsm) with an increase in cellular F-actin content at 1, 3, and 5 min, respectively, compared to isotonic (310 mOsm) control cells. Confocal visualization of F-actin in fixed, intact Ehrlich cells demonstrated that osmotic challenges mainly affect the F-actin in the cortical region of the cells, with no visible changes in F-actin in other cell regions. The possible role of the F-actin cytoskeleton in RVD was studied using 0. 5 microM cytochalasin B (CB), cytochalasin D (CD), or chaetoglobosin C (ChtC), a cytochalasin analog with little or no affinity for F-actin. Recovery of cell volume after hypotonic swelling was slower in cells pretreated for 3 min with 0.5 microM CB, but not in CD- and ChtC-treated cells, compared to osmotically swollen control cells. Moreover, the maximal cell volume after swelling was decreased in CB-treated, but not in CD- or Chtc-treated cells. Following a hypertonic challenge imposed using the RVD/RVI protocol, recovery from cell shrinkage was slower in CB-treated, but not in CD- or Chtc-treated cells, whereas the minimal cell volume after shrinkage was unaltered by either of these treatments. It is concluded that osmotic cell swelling and shrinkage elicit a decrease and an increase in the F-actin content in Ehrlich cells, respectively. The RVD and RVI processes are inhibited by 0.5 microM CB, but not by 0.5 microM CD, which is more specific for actin.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.