Indexed on: 01 Nov '93Published on: 01 Nov '93Published in: Journal of Cellular Physiology
Cyclic AMP (cAMP) elevation causes diverse types of cultured cells to round partially and develop arborized cell processes. Renal glomerular mesangial cells are smooth, muscle-like cells and in culture contain abundant actin microfilament cables that insert into substratum focal contacts. cAMP elevation causes adhesion loss, microfilament cable fragmentation, and shape change in cultured mesangial cells. We investigated the roles of the classical vitronectin (alpha V beta 3 integrin) and fibronectin (alpha 5 beta 1 integrin) receptors in these changes. Mesangial cells on vitronectin-rich substrata contained microfilament cables that terminated in focal contacts that stained with antibodies to vitronectin receptor. cAMP elevation caused loss of focal contact and associated vitronectin receptor. Both fibronectin and its receptor stained in a fibrillary pattern at the cell surface under control conditions but appeared aggregated along the cell processes after cAMP elevation. This suggested that cAMP elevation caused loss of adhesion mediated by vitronectin receptor but not by fibronectin receptor. We plated cells onto fibronectin-coated slides to test the effect of ligand immobilization on the cellular response to cAMP. On fibronectin-coated slides fibronectin receptor was observed in peripheral focal contacts where actin filaments terminated, as seen with vitronectin receptor on vitronectin-coated substrata, and in abundant linear arrays distributed along microfilaments as well. Substratum contacts mediated by fibronectin receptor along the length of actin filaments have been termed fibronexus contacts. After cAMP elevation, microfilaments fragmented and fibronectin receptor disappeared from peripheral focal contacts, but the more central contacts along residual microfilament fragments appeared intact. Also, substratum adhesion was maintained after cAMP elevation on fibronectin--but not on vitronectin-coated surfaces. Although other types of extracellular matrix receptors may also be involved, our observations suggest that cAMP regulates adhesion at focal contacts but not at fibronexus-type extracellular matrix contacts.