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Relation of actin fibrils to energy metabolism of endothelial cells


The physiological significance of the association of glycolytic enzymes with actin fibrils was investigated in cell culture. Cytochalasin D (CD) was used to induce the known actin-based sequence of events in a culture of an endothelial-cell line (XTH-2) derived from hearts from tadpoles of Xenopus laevis. 1 min following addition of CD, ruptures in the cortical fibrillar meshwork and in stress fibres are seen. At the same time the cellular ATP level decreases by ca. 25%. This and the following reactions resulting in a kind of arborization depend on a continuous supply with metabolic energy. As shown by measurements of oxygen consumption, cells with intact energy metabolism provide the ATP needed from glycolysis; ATP produced by oxidative phosphorylation is not ultilized as long as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) reoxidizes NADH2. After inhibition of LDH, respiration in XTH-2 cells doubles. CD treatment induces a transient increase in oxygen consumption, indicating an increased energy supply by respiration. From these results we conclude: The energy needed by the actomyosin system is — under normal metabolic conditions — supplied from ATP phosphorylated in glycolysis. The processes of energy metabolism seem to be highly compartmentalized; ATP is not a parameter that is kept constant in time intervals of minutes up to one hour.

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Correspondence to Utz Tillmann.

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Tillmann, U., Bereiter-Hahn, J. Relation of actin fibrils to energy metabolism of endothelial cells. Cell Tissue Res. 243, 579–585 (1986).

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Key words

  • Actin
  • Glycolysis
  • Respiration
  • Cellular ATP-content
  • Cytolchalasin D
  • Endothelial cells
  • Cell culture
  • Xenopus laevis