Airway smooth muscle cells migration and orientation on 3D surfaces: taking side
| Airway smooth muscle cells (ASMCs) are known to migrate and assemble into helical band structures around the tubular airway wall, with the helical angle variable in states from normal to disease such as asthma. However, the mechanism underlying such morphogenesis of the ASMCs remains largely unknown.
Using concave/convex tubular/folding substrate, we found that on the surface of the micropatterned tubular substrate, the migration and orientation of the ASMCs were closely dependent not only on the tube’s radius, but also on which side of the tube either the concave or convex side. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the migration and orientation behaviors of the ASMCS were dependent on the contractile state of the cells, primarily on the actin-myosin interaction. These behaviours were not observed with other pulmonary cell types such as FBs and EPCs.
Our findings indicate that under in vitro culture condition the ASMCs could quickly determine the microenvironment of the tubular/folding micropatterned curved surface, and change their behaviors accordingly, which ultimately led the cells to self assemble into a morphology most fit for their survival and function. This phenomenon may have important implications to better understand the mechanisms of tissue morphogenesis of tubular organs such as the pulmonary airways in both health and diseased.