The visco-elastic behavior of connective tissue is generally attributed to the material properties of the extracellular matrix rather than cellular activity. We have previously shown that fibroblasts within areolar connective tissue exhibit dynamic cytoskeletal remodeling within minutes in response to tissue stretch ex vivo and in vivo. Here, we tested the hypothesis that fibroblasts, through this cytoskeletal remodeling, actively contribute to the visco-elastic behavior of the whole tissue.
Previously, we showed that rhinovirus (RV), which is responsible for the majority of common colds, disrupts airway epithelial barrier function, as evidenced by reduced transepithelial resistance (R(T)), dissociation of zona occludins 1 (ZO-1) from the tight junction complex, and bacterial transmigration across polarized cells. We also showed that RV replication is required for barrier function disruption. However, the underlying biochemical mechanisms are not known.
Vascular adhesion molecules regulate the migration of leukocytes from the blood into tissue during inflammation. Binding of leukocytes to vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) activates signals in endothelial cells, including Rac1 and calcium fluxes. These VCAM-1 signals are required for leukocyte transendothelial migration on VCAM-1. However, it has not been reported whether the cytoplasmic domain of VCAM-1 is necessary for these signals.