The dogfish shark (Squalus acanthias) rectal gland (SRG) cell has served as a model experimental system for investigating the relationship between the actin cytoskeleton and cell volume regulation. Previous reports employing conventional fluorescence microscopy of tissue slices have shown that cells exposed to high external K+ and hypotonically-induced cell swelling displayed a fading of F-actin staining intensity, particularly at the basolateral cell borders. However, spectroscopic measurement of the F-actin present in similarly treated rectal gland slices failed to demonstrate a net change in F-actin amount. In an effort to resolve the structural reorganizations of F-actin which may be occurring during high K+ and hypotonic shock treatments, we have used cultured SRG cells in conjunction with confocal microscopic immunocytochemical localization techniques to examine actin filament, microtubule, and cytokeratin filament dynamics under these two experimental conditions. The results reveal that F-actin in control cells exists in an array of parallel linear bundles (which do not appear to be stress fiber-like given their lack of staining for myosin II or alpha-actinin) that is reorganized to a punctate pattern in hypotonic shock and a dense meshwork in high K+. The linear bundle pattern of F-actin returns in cells undergoing regulatory volume decrease. Quantitative western blotting of F-actin in SRG cell detergent extracted cytoskeletons indicates no significant difference in the relative amounts of F-actin present in control, hypotonic shocked, or high K+ cells. Anti-tubulin and anti-cytokeratin labeling of the treated SRG cells suggest that these other major cytoskeletal elements are not significantly altered by the treatments. Taken together, our results reinforce the concept that there is an association between the structural organization of the actin cytoskeleton and cell volume regulation in the SRG epithelial cells.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Zoology|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1997|