AFM study shows prominent physical changes in elasticity and pericellular layer in human acute leukemic cells due to inadequate cell-cell communication

Nataliia V. Guz, Sapan J. Patel, Maxim E. Dokukin, Bayard Clarkson, Igor Sokolov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Biomechanical properties of single cells in vitro or ex vivo and their pericellular interfaces have recently attracted a lot of attention as a potential biophysical (and possibly prognostic) marker of various diseases and cell abnormalities. At the same time, the influence of the cell environment on the biomechanical properties of cells is not well studied. Here we use atomic force microscopy to demonstrate that cell-cell communication can have a profound effect on both cell elasticity and its pericellular coat. A human pre-B p190BCR/ABL acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line (ALL3) was used in this study. Assuming that cell-cell communication is inversely proportional to the distance between cells, we study ALL3 cells in vitro growing at different cell densities. ALL3 cells demonstrate a clear density dependent behavior. These cells grow very well if started at a relatively high cell density (HD, >2 ×105 cells ml-1) and are poised to grow at low cell density (LD, <1 ×104 cells ml-1). Here we observe ∼6× increase in the elastic (Young's) modulus of the cell body and ∼3.6× decrease in the pericellular brush length of LD cells compared to HD ALL3 cells. The difference observed in the elastic modulus is much larger than typically reported for pathologically transformed cells. Thus, cell-cell communication must be taken into account when studying biomechanics of cells, in particular, correlating cell phenotype and its biophysical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number494005
JournalNanotechnology
Volume27
Issue number49
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • atomic force microscopy
  • cell mechanics
  • cell-cell communication
  • pericellular coat interface
  • single cell analysis

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