OBJECTIVE: After injury, humans and other mammals heal by forming fibrotic scar tissue with diminished function, and this healing process involves the dynamic interplay between resident cells within the skin and cells recruited from the circulation. Recent studies have provided mounting evidence that external mechanical forces stimulate intracellular signaling pathways to drive fibrotic processes.INNOVATION: While most studies have focused on studying mechanotransduction in fibroblasts, recent data suggest that mechanical stimulation may also shape the behavior of immune cells, referred to as "mechano-immunomodulation". However, the effect of mechanical strain on myeloid cell recruitment and differentiation remains poorly understood and has never been investigated at the single cell level.APPROACH: In this study, we utilized a three-dimensional (3D) in vitro culture system that permits the precise manipulation of mechanical strain applied to cells. We cultured myeloid cells and used single cell RNA-sequencing to interrogate the effects of strain on myeloid differentiation and transcriptional programming.RESULTS: Our data indicate that myeloid cells are indeed mechanoresponsive, with mechanical stress influencing myeloid differentiation. Mechanical strain also upregulated a cascade of inflammatory chemokines, most notably from the Ccl family.CONCLUSION: Further understanding of how mechanical stress affects myeloid cells in conjunction with other cell types in the complicated, multicellular milieu of wound healing may lead to novel insights and therapies for the treatment of fibrosis.
View details for DOI 10.1089/wound.2021.0036
View details for PubMedID 34278820