Simvastatin-dependent actin cytoskeleton rearrangement regulates differentiation via the extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 and p38 kinase pathways in rabbit articular chondrocytes

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Abstract

Alterations in cell morphology involve changes in the actin cytoskeleton and play crucial roles in determining chondrocyte phenotypes. Although the effects of simvastatin (SV) have been demonstrated in various cell types, the mechanisms and effects of SV on chondrocyte differentiation and actin cytoskeletal rearrangement are still unclear. Here, we investigated the roles of actin filament rearrangement on SV-induced differentiation of rabbit articular chondrocytes. Treatment with SV caused actin remodeling in comparison with that in untreated chondrocytes, as determined by immunofluorescence staining. Moreover, treatment with cytochalasin D (CD) and jasplakinolide (JAS), which modulate actin filament formation, resulted in reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton compared with that induced by SV in chondrocytes. In addition, CD synergistically enhanced the SV-induced increase in type II collagen expression, whereas JAS dramatically inhibited SV-induced differentiation. We also found that differentiation via SV-dependent actin cytoskeleton changes was regulated by the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)−1/2 and p38 kinase pathways. These results demonstrated that actin cytoskeletal rearrangement by SV regulated type II collagen expression and suggested that ERK-1/2 and p38 kinase pathways may play important roles in SV-induced type II collagen expression by altering actin cytoskeletal reorganization in rabbit articular chondrocytes.

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