The topography and elasticity of living and fixed astrocytes cultured from the rat cerebra were studied quantitatively by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Ridge-like structures reflecting F-actin beneath the cell membrane were prominent in the contact-mode images of living astrocytes. Many of these ridges became unclear after fixation (2% glutaraldehyde). In addition, the ridge-like structures were invisible in the topography of living cells observed at zero-loading force in the force mapping mode, which is considered to show the real cell surface not pressed down by an AFM tip. The topography of fixed cells observed both in the contact mode and at zero-loading force in the force mapping mode was similar to that of living cells observed at zero-loading force in the force mapping mode, although some deformed areas were detected in the fixed cells. The elasticity map images of living astrocytes showed that the cell membrane above the nucleus was softer (2-3 kPa) than the surroundings, and that the cell membrane above F-actin was stiffer (10-20 kPa) than the surroundings. In the elasticity map images of fixed astrocytes, on the other hand, the elasticity of the cells was found to be relatively uniform (200-700 kPa) irrespective of the inner structures of cells. These results show that images observed by AFM should be carefully examined in consideration of the force introduced to specimens and the elasticity of specimens to find out the real surface topography.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Electron Microscopy|
|Publication status||Published - 2000 Jan 1|
- Actin filament
- Force mapping method
- Young's modulus
ASJC Scopus subject areas