Mechanical stretch and shear flow induced reorganization and recruitment of fibronectin in fibroblasts

Sci Rep. 2011;1:147. doi: 10.1038/srep00147. Epub 2011 Nov 8.


It was our objective to study the role of mechanical stimulation on fibronectin (FN) reorganization and recruitment by exposing fibroblasts to shear fluid flow and equibiaxial stretch. Mechanical stimulation was also combined with a Rho inhibitor to probe their coupled effects on FN. Mechanically stimulated cells revealed a localization of FN around the cell periphery as well as an increase in FN fibril formation. Mechanical stimulation coupled with chemical stimulation also revealed an increase in FN fibrils around the cell periphery. Complimentary to this, fibroblasts exposed to fluid shear stress structurally rearranged pre-coated surface FN, but unstimulated and stretched cells did not. These results show that mechanical stimulation directly affected FN reorganization and recruitment, despite perturbation by chemical stimulation. Our findings will help elucidate the mechanisms of FN biosynthesis and organization by furthering the link of the role of mechanics with FN.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Fibroblasts / physiology*
  • Fibroblasts / ultrastructure
  • Fibronectins / chemistry
  • Fibronectins / physiology*
  • Fibronectins / ultrastructure
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Rheology
  • Shear Strength
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Fibronectins
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins