Activation of the ERK1/2 cascade via pulsatile interstitial fluid flow promotes cardiac tissue assembly. Academic Article uri icon


  • Deciphering the cellular signals leading to cardiac muscle assembly is a major challenge in ex vivo tissue regeneration. For the first time, we demonstrate that pulsatile interstitial fluid flow in three-dimensional neonatal cardiac cell constructs can activate ERK1/2 sixfold, as compared to static-cultivated constructs. Activation of ERK1/2 was attained under physiological shear stress conditions, without activating the p38 cell death signal above its basic level. Activation of the ERK1/2 signaling cascade induced synthesis of high levels of contractile and cell-cell contact proteins by the cardiomyocytes, while its inhibition diminished the inducing effects of pulsatile flow. The pulsed medium-induced cardiac cell constructs showed improved cellularity and viability, while the regenerated cardiac tissue demonstrated some ultra-structural features of the adult myocardium. The cardiomyocytes were elongated and aligned into myofibers with defined Z-lines and multiple high-ordered sarcomeres. Numerous inter...

publication date

  • January 1, 2007