Deciphering the Role of Caveolae in Human Meniscus Fibrochondrocytes

  • Author / Creator
    Vyhlidal, Margaret J.
  • Menisci are fibrocartilaginous structures of the knee that function in mechanical load transmission to protect articular cartilage from forces that may initiate osteoarthritic changes. A population of cells responsible for regulating the tissues’ biomechanical properties are meniscus fibrochondrocytes (MFC). MFC tailor the production of extracellular matrix (ECM) in response to mechanical stimuli and thereby regulate the functionality of the meniscus. The mechanism by which MFC sense and respond to mechanical stimuli, a process known as mechanotransduction, has yet to be determined. Caveolae are structures of the plasma membrane predominately constructed of caveolin proteins, that have been implicated in mechanotransduction in cells frequently exposed to mechanical stress. We recently identified caveolae in engineered tissues from human MFC and set out to investigate their role in MFC.

    First, we confirmed the expression of caveolin proteins in human MFC at both the gene and protein level. Next, we mechanically stimulated and transcriptionally probed MFC in engineered human meniscus tissues and evaluated caveolae-related gene expression. Our data showed that caveolae respond to mechanical stimulation and perhaps are involved in mechanotransduction through Fyn-mediated signal transduction. Future studies are aimed at confirming the importance of caveolae in MFC through inhibition or suppression.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Library with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.