Effects of cyclic mechanical stimulation of the cellular components of the heart: in vitro

In Vitro Cell Dev Biol. 1988 Jan;24(1):53-8. doi: 10.1007/BF02623815.


The response of the cellular components of the heart to cyclic mechanical stimulation is of particular importance because these cells are continually subjected to mechanical forces as a result of changes in blood volume and pressure. To directly investigate how mechanical tension affects these cellular components of the heart, an in vitro system that exposes the particular cell type (cardiac myocytes, endothelial cells, or fibroblasts) to a calibrated increase in cyclical linear stretch was developed. Cells were grown on silastic membranes coated with laminin and subjected to a 10% cyclical distention 10 times a minute for 72 h. Within 24 h of being exposed to the mechanical stretch, the cells became elongated and oriented perpendicular to the direction of the stretch. These results indicate that cyclical mechanical stimulation directly influences the cellular organization of the heart cells in vitro.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelium / cytology
  • Fibroblasts
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Myocardial Contraction
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Rats
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Surface Tension