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Expression of stress fibers in bullfrog mesothelial cells in situ

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Actin-containing cytoplasmic fibers in mesothelial cells of the abdominal wall of the bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana, were visualized by rhodamine-phalloidin staining of en face preparations of mesothelial cells. These fibers ran straight and were aligned parallel with each other. They also showed immunofluorescence staining with antibody against myosin or α-actinin. Electron microscopy revealed the presence of microfilament bundles in the basal cytoplasm of the cells. These cytoplasmic fibers may be comparable to the stress fibers observed in cultured cells. The mesothelial cells of tadpoles initially developed stress fibers when they underwent transformation from a polygonal to a spindle-like shape. Such fibers were also present in the polygonal cells of frogs. Expression of stress fibers in these cells seems to correspond to the expansion of the abdominal wall caused by marked growth of some intraperitoneal organs. The stress fibers in the mesothelial cells may serve to regulate cellular transformation and, further, may play a role in maintaining cellular or epithelial integrity by strengthening the cellular attachment to subepithelial tissue against probable tension load on the abdominal wall.

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Correspondence to Dr. K. Sugimoto.

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Sugimoto, K., Fujii, S., Ichikawa, Y. et al. Expression of stress fibers in bullfrog mesothelial cells in situ. Cell Tissue Res. 258, 373–380 (1989).

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Key words

  • Stress fibers
  • Mesothelium
  • Fluorescent cytochemistry
  • Actin filaments
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Rana catesbeiana (Anura)