Signal transduction pathways involved in response to cyclic tensile strain and strain deprivation in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) fibroblasts grown in 3D collagen gels were investigated. Application of cyclic tensile strain resulted in significant activation (phosphorylation) of MKK3/6, SAPK and their downstream target transcription factors, ATF-2 and c-jun, while strain deprivation resulted in a decrease in these kinases and transcription factors. These data suggest that ACL fibroblasts cultured in 3D collagen gels respond to the mechanical environment and provide a useful system for determination of the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of proliferation and matrix turnover by mechanical load.
- ACL fibroblast
- cyclic strain