Owing to their self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation capability, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold enormous potential in regenerative medicine. A prerequisite for a successful MSC therapy is the rigorous investigation of their function after in vitro cultivation. Damages introduced to mitochondria during cultivation adversely affect MSCs function and can determine their fate. While it has been shown that microtubules and vimentin intermediate filaments are important for mitochondrial dynamics and active mitochondrial transport within the cytoplasm of MSCs, the role of filamentous actin in this process has not been fully understood yet. To gain a deeper understanding of the interdependence between mitochondrial function and the cytoskeleton, we applied cytochalasin B to disturb the filamentous actin-based cytoskeleton of MSCs. In this study we combined conventional functional assays with a state-of-the-art oxygen sensor-integrated microfluidic device to investigate mitochondrial function. We demonstrated that cytochalasin B treatment at a dose of 16 μM led to a decrease in cell viability with high mitochondrial membrane potential, increased oxygen consumption rate, disturbed fusion and fission balance, nuclear extrusion and perinuclear accumulation of mitochondria. Treatment of MSCs for 48 h ultimately led to nuclear fragmentation, and activation of the intrinsic pathway of apoptotic cell death. Importantly, we could show that mitochondrial function of MSCs can efficiently recover from the damage to the filamentous actin-based cytoskeleton over a period of 24 h. As a result of our study, a causative connection between the filamentous actin-based cytoskeleton and mitochondrial dynamics was demonstrated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Angewandte Mikrobiologie und Biotechnologie