Cyclic stretch enhances reorientation and differentiation of 3-D culture model of human airway smooth muscle

Shuichi Asano, Satoru Ito, Mika Morosawa, Kishio Furuya, Keiji Naruse, Masahiro Sokabe, Etsuro Yamaguchi, Yoshinori Hasegawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Activation of airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells plays a central role in the pathophysiology of asthma. Because ASM is an important therapeutic target in asthma, it is beneficial to develop bioengineered ASM models available for assessing physiological and biophysical properties of ASM cells. In the physiological condition in vivo, ASM cells are surrounded by extracellular matrix (ECM) and exposed to mechanical stresses such as cyclic stretch. We utilized a 3-D culture model of human ASM cells embedded in type-I collagen gel. We further examined the effects of cyclic mechanical stretch, which mimics tidal breathing, on cell orientation and expression of contractile proteins of ASM cells within the 3-D gel. ASM cells in type-I collagen exhibited a tissue-like structure with actin stress fiber formation and intracellular Ca2+ mobilization in response to methacholine. Uniaxial cyclic stretching enhanced alignment of nuclei and actin stress fibers of ASM cells. Moreover, expression of mRNAs for contractile proteins such as α-smooth muscle actin, calponin, myosin heavy chain 11, and transgelin of stretched ASM cells was significantly higher than that under the static condition. Our findings suggest that mechanical force and interaction with ECM affects development of the ASM tissue-like construct and differentiation to the contractile phenotype in a 3-D culture model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-38
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemistry and Biophysics Reports
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Asthma
  • Ca
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Stretch
  • Tissue engineering
  • α-smooth muscle actin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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