Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Anatomy & Neurobiology

First Advisor

David Simpson


During cardiac development and in cardiac disease changes in hemodynamic load initiate events leading to remodeling of the ECM. This study addresses the hypothesis that interactions between Integrins and Metalloprotienases function to modulate cell adhesion in the cultured cardiac fibroblast. The fibroblast is positioned to detect and respond to changes in the mechanical load on the heart. Functionally the cardiac fibroblast is the primary cell type responsible for the production, maintenance, and remodeling of the cardiac interstitium. Matrix Metalloproteinases, specifically the Gelatinases, are expressed in concert during development and in disease with changes in the hemodynamic loading of the heart. Our studies have identified by a complex on the surface of the cardiac fibroblast composed of the a3b1 integrin, MMP-2, and TIMP-2. Putatively, this complex is involved in the maturation of adhesions. Inhibition of MMP-2 was associated with a decrease in the strength of adhesion of cell plated on collagen and fibronectin. Confocal imaging and analysis indicate that a predominate interaction occurs between MMP-2 and the a3 integrin chain. Taken together biochemical, functional, and microscopic data have identified a complex on the surface of the cardiac fibroblast that represents elements of mechanotransduction and matrix metabolism in a single site that functions in the maturation of adhesion


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

July 2009