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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton January 1, 1994; 29 (3): 231-40.

Subtraction scanning acoustic microscopy reveals motility domains in cells in vitro.

Veselý P , Lücers H , Riehle M , Bereiter-Hahn J .

Scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM) observes all mechanical properties of living cells. Subtraction of the SAM images (SubSAM) of live cells was developed as a method for investigating minimal changes in cellular topography and elasticity. The image formation in the SubSAM takes into account the motion of cell mass as well as the changes of tension. High spatial and temporal resolution of the SubSAM revealed the structure of motile processes that develops at increasing time intervals, thus allowing the arising complexity of motion to be registered and investigated. Independent spots of activity emerge on a quiescent background as motility domains; they may change position, divide, merge, or disappear after a long time interval. In addition, zones of quiescence were identified over central parts of cytoplasmic lamellae. Nonmalignant (Ep: tadpole epidermal cells, XTH2: endothelial cells from tadpole hearts, 3T3 cells) and neoplastic cells (K2 cells of rat fibrosarcoma, A870N cells selected from K2) were investigated with the SubSAM. Three types of domains of subcellular cytoplasmic motility were identified in time series of two-dimensional SubSAM iamges in normal and neoplastic cells. Of them only the wave-like domain is self-evident, being derived from ruffling and protruding activity at the cell margin. Two other domains wait for detailed analysis. The oscillating domain is a visualization of tension within the cell(s), and the nucleating domain indicates intracellular processes possibly preceding locomotion. Differences in motile domains were found between low K2 and high A870N metastatic cells. The dynamics of motility domains of the A870N cells resembled that of the highly motile Ep cells. Cell morphotype and motile activity of the A870N cells are significantly influenced by the pH of the medium. It became evident that identification of the otherwise invisible motile domains in living cells by SubSAM opens a new approach to a characterization of cell motility in vitro and to an understanding of early cellular reactions to various stimuli.

PubMed ID: 7895287
Article link: Cell Motil Cytoskeleton

Genes referenced: apex2

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