Alteration of the microtubule organization in aging WI-38 fibroblasts. A comparative study with embryonic hamster lung fibroblasts

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Abstract

The microtubule organization in human WI-38 fibroblasts subcultivated in vitro has been investigated using nocodazole, a reversible inhibitor of the microtubules. Two phenotypes were observed. The typical fibroblast cells, called Type 1 cells, showed, after nocodazole treatment, a centripetal depolymerization wave of the microtubules and the giant Type 2 cells which have a more heterogeneous behaviour. Some of the cells clearly showed a centrifugal depolymerization of the microtubules, others a mixed behavior and less than 1% displayed the same behavior as the Type 1 cells. Confirming previous data obtained with hamster fibroblast (Raes et al., 1983, 1984), these results suggest a modification in the microtubule organization which could account for the aberrant division of some WI-38 cells in aged cultures. The relevance of this observation for the emergence of the morphologically different Type 2 cells and for cell division impairment in serially in vitro cultivated cells is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Volume22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1987

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