Human mesothelial cells (HMC) cover a variety of serosal surfaces and have been shown to rest upon an underlying subcellular basement membrane in vivo. Bovine corneal endothelial cells produce an extracellular matrix (ECM) in vitro that mimics HMC subcellular basement membrane and was found to modulate HMC adhesion, morphology and proliferation in vitro. Our results indicated that within minutes after plating, a high percentage (greater than 80%) of HMC firmly attached to ECM. Active cellular migration and subsequent proliferation were observed leading to the formation of a well-organized closely apposed cell monolayer. However, when cells were plated on plastic, the rate of cell attachment was much lower and the proliferative rate of HMC grown on plastic also was strikingly lower (exponential doubling time 4.3 days) than that of cells grown on ECM (exponential doubling time 2.4 days). Cells upon reaching confluency on plastic were markedly enlarged as compared to confluent cells grown on ECM. These observations corroborated differences in final cell density where it was noted that HMC cultured on ECM demonstrated a 10-fold greater final cell density as compared to cells grown on plastic. Results from these studies illustrate the fact that phenotypic expression as well as proliferative responsiveness of HMC can be modulated by adhesive interactions with preformed ECM.

This content is only available via PDF.