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Diamagnetic Levitation Causes Changes in the Morphology, Cytoskeleton, and Focal Adhesion Proteins Expression in Osteocytes

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9 Author(s)
Qian, A.R. ; Key Lab. for Space Biosci. & Biotechnol., Northwestern Polytech. Univ., Xi''an, China ; Wang, L.L. ; Gao, X. ; Zhang, W.
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Diamagnetic levitation technology is a novel simulated weightless technique and has recently been applied in life-science research. We have developed a superconducting magnet platform with large gradient high magnetic field (LG-HMF), which can provide three apparent gravity levels, namely, μg (diamagnetic levitation), 1g, and 2g for diamagnetic materials. In this study, the effects of LG-HMF on the activity, morphology, and cytoskeleton (actin filament, microtubules, and vimentin intermediate filaments) in osteocyte - like cell line MLO-Y4 were detected by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) methods, hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining, and laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM), respectively. The changes induced by LG-HMF in distribution and expression of focal adhesion (FA) proteins, including vinculin, paxillin, and talin in MLO-Y4 were determined by LSCM and Western blotting. The results showed that LG-HMF produced by superconducting magnet had no lethal effects on MLO-Y4. Compared to control, diamagnetic levitation (μg) affected MLO-Y4 morphology, nucleus size, cytoskeleton architecture, and FA proteins distribution and expression. The study indicates that osteocytes are sensitive to altered gravity and FA proteins (vinculin, paxillin, and talin) may be involved in osteocyte mechanosensation. The diamagnetic levitation may be a novel ground-based space-gravity simulator and can be used for biological experiment at cellular level.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 1 )