Mechanical properties of living cells can be used as reliable markers of their state, such as the presence of a pathological state or their differentiation phase. The mechanical behavior of cells depends on the organization of their cytoskeletal network and the main contribution typically comes from the actomyosin contractile system, in both suspended and adherent cells. In the present study, we investigated the effect of a pharmaceutical formulation (OTC – Ossitetraciclina liquida 20%) used as antibiotic, on the mechanical properties of K562 cells by using the Micropipette Aspiration Technique (MAT). This formulation has been shown to increase in a time dependent way the inflammation and toxicity in terms of apoptosis in in vitro experiments on K562 and other types of cells. Here we show that by measuring the mechanical properties of cells exposed to OTC for different incubation times, it is possible to infer modifications induced by the formulation to the actomyosin contractile system. We emphasize that this system is involved in the first stages of the apoptotic process where an increase of the cortical tension leads to the formation of blebs. We discuss the possible relation between the observed mechanical behavior of cells aspirated inside a micropipette and apoptosis.
Mechanical phenotyping of K562 cells by the Micropipette Aspiration Technique allows identifying mechanical changes induced by drugs / Di Cerbo, Alessandro; Rubino, Valentina; Morelli, Francesca; Ruggiero, Giuseppina; Landi, Rosaria; Guidetti, Gianandrea; Canello, Sergio; Terrazzano, Giuseppe; Alessandrini, Andrea. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 8:1(2018), p. 1219. [10.1038/s41598-018-19563-z]