Age-dependent expression of collagen receptors and deformation of type i collagen substrates by rat cardiac fibroblasts

Christopher G. Wilson, John W. Stone, Vennece Fowlkes, Mary O. Morales, Catherine J. Murphy, Sarah C. Baxter, Edie C. Goldsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Little is known about how age influences the ways in which cardiac fibroblasts interact with the extracellular matrix. We investigated the deformation of collagen substrates by neonatal and adult rat cardiac fibroblasts in monolayer and three-dimensional (3D) cultures, and quantified the expression of three collagen receptors [discoidin domain receptor (DDR)1, DDR2, and ß1 integrin] and the contractile protein alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) in these cells. We report that adult fibroblasts contracted 3D collagen substrates significantly less than their neonate counterparts, whereas no differences were observed in monolayer cultures. Adult cells had lower expression of ß1 integrin and α-SMA than neonate cultures, and we detected significant correlations between the expression of α-SMA and each of the collagen receptors in neonate cells but not in adult cells. Consistent with recent work demonstrating age-dependent interactions with myocytes, our results indicate that interactions between cardiac fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix change with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-562
Number of pages8
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011



  • cardiac fibroblast
  • collagen
  • discoidin domain receptor
  • extracellular matrix
  • integrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation

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