Alterations in microtubules, intermediate filaments, and microfilaments induced by microcystin-LR in cultured cells

Wickstrom, Khan, Haschek, Wyman, John Eriksson, Schaeffer, Beasley

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    Microcystin-LR (MCLR) is a cyanobacterial hepatotoxin that inhibits intracellular serine/threonine protein phosphatases causing disruption of actin microfilaments (MFs) and intermediate filaments (IFs) in hepatocytes. This study compared the effects of MCLR on the organization of MFs, IFs, and microtubules (MTs) in hepatocytes and nonhepatocyte cell lines and determined the sequence of toxin-induced changes in these cytoskeletal components. Rat renal epithelial cells and fibroblasts were incubated with MCLR at 100 or 200 microM for 6-18 hr. Rat hepatocytes in primary culture were exposed to the toxin at 1 or 10 microM for 2-64 min. Cells were fixed and incubated with primary antibodies against beta-tubulin, actin, and vimentin or cytokeratin IFs, followed by gold-labeled secondary antibodies with silver enhancement of the gold probe. The fraction of fibroblasts and hepatocytes with altered cytoskeletal morphology was evaluated as a function of MCLR dose and exposure time to assess the sequence of changes in cytoskeletal components. Changes in fibroblasts and some hepatocytes were characterized initially by disorganization of IFs, followed rapidly by disorganization of MTs, with the progressive collapse of both cytoskeletal components around cell nuclei. Many hepatocytes exhibited MT changes prior to effects on IF structure. Alterations in MFs occurred later and included initial aggregation of actin under the plasma membrane, followed by condensation into rosette-like structures and eventual complete collapse into a dense perinuclear bundle. The similarity of effects among different cell types suggests a common mechanism of action, but the independent kinetics of IF and MT disruption in hepatocytes suggests that there may be at least 2 sites of phosphorylation that lead to cytoskeletal alterations.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)326–337
    JournalToxicologic Pathology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1995
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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