Int J Med Sci 2020; 17(11):1491-1498. doi:10.7150/ijms.46354 This issue
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430060, Hubei Province, P. R. China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
The anatomical positions of pelvic floor organs are maintained mainly by ligaments and muscles. Long-term excessive mechanical tension stimulation of pelvic floor tissue beyond the endurance of ligaments or muscles will lead to the occurrence of pelvic organ prolapse (POP). In addition, cytoskeletal reconstitution is a key process by which cells respond to mechanical stimulation. The aim of the present study was to investigate the protective effect of actin cytoskeleton to resist mechanical stretching (MS)-induced apoptosis in parametrial ligament fibroblasts (PLFs) and the underlying mechanisms. MS provided by a four‑point bending device could significantly induce apoptosis of PLFs from non-POP patients, which exhibited an apoptosis rate close to that of PLFs from POP patients, and the apoptosis rate was higher following latrunculin A (Lat-A, a potent inhibitor of actin) treatment. In addition, Nr4a1 and Bax expression was increased while Bcl-2 and caspase-3 expression was clearly decreased after treatment with MS and Lat-A. However, the apoptosis induced by MS was reduced when the expression of Nr4a1 was downregulated by siRNA. These outcomes reveal a novel mechanism that links the actin cytoskeleton and apoptosis in PLFs by Nr4a1; this mechanism will provide insight into the clinical diagnosis and treatment of POP.
Keywords: Mechanical stretching, Actin cytoskeleton, Apoptosis, Pelvic Organ Prolapse