Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) rely on their ability to integrate physical and spatial signals at load bearing sites to replace and renew musculoskeletal tissues. Designed to mimic unloading experienced during spaceflight, preclinical unloading and simulated microgravity models show that alteration of gravitational loading limits proliferative activity of stem cells. Emerging evidence indicates that this loss of proliferation may be linked to loss of cellular cytoskeleton and contractility. Low intensity vibration (LIV) is an exercise mimetic that promotes proliferation and differentiation of MSCs by enhancing cell structure. Here, we asked whether application of LIV could restore the reduced proliferative capacity seen in MSCs that are subjected to simulated microgravity. We found that simulated microgravity (sMG) decreased cell proliferation and simultaneously compromised cell structure. These changes included increased nuclear height, disorganized apical F-actin structure, reduced expression, and protein levels of nuclear lamina elements LaminA/C LaminB1 as well as linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complex elements Sun-2 and Nesprin-2. Application of LIV restored cell proliferation and nuclear proteins LaminA/C and Sun-2. An intact LINC function was required for LIV effect; disabling LINC functionality via co-depletion of Sun-1, and Sun-2 prevented rescue of cell proliferation by LIV. Our findings show that sMG alters nuclear structure and leads to decreased cell proliferation, but does not diminish LINC complex mediated mechanosensitivity, suggesting LIV as a potential candidate to combat sMG-induced proliferation loss.
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Touchstone, H.; Bryd, R.; Loisate, S.; Thompson, M.; Pu, X.; Beard, R.; Oxford, J.T.; and Uzer, G. (2019). "Recovery of Stem Cell Proliferation by Low Intensity Vibration under Simulated Microgravity Requires LINC Complex". Microgravity, 5, 11-1 - 11-9. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41526-019-0072-5