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An in vitro model of skeletal muscle volume regulation

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Introduction: Hypertonic media causes cells to shrink due to water loss through aquaporin channels. After acute shrinkage, cells either regulate their volume or, alternatively, undergo a number of metabolic changes which ultimately lead to cell death. In many cell types, hypertonic shrinkage is followed by apoptosis. Due to the complex 3D morphology of skeletal muscle and the difficulty in obtaining isolated human tissue, we have begun skeletal muscle volume regulation studies using the human skeletal muscle cell line TE671RD. In this study we investigated whether hypertonic challenge of the human skeletal muscle cell line TE671RD triggered cell death or evoked a cell volume recovery response. Methods: The cellular volume of TE671RD cells was calculated from the 2D surface area. Cell death was assessed by both the trypan blue live/dead assay and the TUNEL assay. Results: Medium osmolality was increased by addition of up to 200mM sucrose. Addition of 200mM sucrose resulted in mean cell shrinkage of 44±1% after 30mins. At later time points (2 and 4 hrs) two separate cell subpopulations with differing mean cell volume became apparent. The first subpopulation (15±2% of the total cell number) continued to shrink whereas the second subpopulation had an increased cell volume. Cell death was observed in a small proportion of cells (approximately 6-8%). Conclusion: We have established that a substantial proportion of TE671RD cells respond to hypertonic challenge with RVI, but that these cells are resistant to hypertonicity triggered cell death.




Wibberley, A., Staunton, C. A., Feetham, C. H., Vereninov, A. A., & Barrett-Jolley, R. (2015). An in vitro model of skeletal muscle volume regulation. PLoS ONE, 10(6).

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