The dose-response effects of platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB) on rat dermal fibroblast (RDF) behavior in mechanically stressed and unstressed type I collagen and fibrin were investigated using quantitative assays developed in our laboratory. In chemotaxis experiments, RDFs responded optimally (P < 0.05) to a gradient of 10 ng/ml PDGF-BB in both collagen and fibrin. In separate experiments, the migration of RDFs and the traction exerted by RDFs in the presence of PDGF-BB (0, 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 ng/ml) were assessed simultaneously in the presence or absence of stress. RDF migration increased significantly (P < 0.05) at doses of 10 and 100 ng/ml PDGF-BB in collagen and fibrin in the presence and absence of stress. In contrast, the effects of PDGF-BB on RDF traction depended on the gel type and stress state. PDGF-BB decreased fibroblast traction in stressed collagen, but increased traction in unstressed collagen (P < 0.05). No statistical conclusion could be inferred for stressed fibrin, but increasing PDGF-BB decreased traction in unstressed fibrin (P < 0.05). These results demonstrate the complex response of fibroblasts to environmental cues and suggest that mechanical resistance to compaction may be a crucial element in dictating fibroblast behavior.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Cynthia Coulter for RDF culture. They also acknowledge the contributions of Benjamin Johnson to the chemotaxis studies. This work was supported by NIH P01-GMS0150-03S1 (R.T.T.) and a graduate fellowship from the Whitaker Foundation (P.A.J.E.).
- Cell migration
- Cell traction
- Tissue equivalent
- Wound healing