Nitric oxide regulates cell behavior on an interactive cell-derived extracellular matrix scaffold.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering


During tissue injury and wound healing process, there are dynamic reciprocal interactions among cells, extracellular matrix (ECM), and mediating molecules which are crucial for functional tissue repair. Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the key mediating molecules that can positively regulate various biological activities involved in wound healing. Various ECM components serve as binding sites for cells and mediating molecules, and the interactions further stimulate cellular activities. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) can migrate to the wound site and contribute to tissue regeneration through differentiation and paracrine signaling. The objective of this work was to investigate the regulatory effect of NO on hMSCs in an interactive ECM-rich microenvironment. In order to mimic the in vivo stromal environment in wound site, a cell-derived ECM scaffold that was able to release NO within the range of in vivo wound fluid NO level was fabricated. Results showed that the micro-molar level of NO released from the ECM scaffold had an inhibitory effect on cellular activities of hMSCs. The NO impaired cell growth, altered cell morphology, disrupted the F-actin organization, also decreased the expression of focal adhesion related molecules integrin α5 and paxillin. These results may contribute to the elucidation of how NO acts on hMSCs in wound healing process.

Publication Title

Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A