Rapid differentiation of superficial urothelial cells after chitosan-induced desquamation
Superficial cell desquamation followed by differentiation of newly exposed superficial cells induces regeneration of the urinary bladder epithelium, urothelium. In the present work, chitosan was evaluated as a new inducer of urothelial cell desquamation, in order to study the regeneration of mouse urothelial cells in vivo. Intravesical application of chitosan dispersion caused complete removal of only the superficial layer of cells within 20 min of treatment. Differentiation of the new superficial layer was followed by the appearance and distribution of three urothelial differentiation markers, tight junction protein ZO1, cytokeratin 20 and the maturation of the apical plasma membrane. The arrangement of ZO1 into continuous lines in individual cells of the intermediate layer was already found after 10 min of chitosan application, when desquamation had just started. The appearance of the apical membrane changed from microvillar to typically scalloped within 20 min of regeneration, while complete arrangement of the cytokeratin 20 network took 60 min. These findings provide a new perspective on the rate of the differentiation process in the urothelium and make chitosan a new and a very controllable tool for studies on urothelial regeneration.
KeywordsChitosan Desquamation Urinary bladder Regeneration Differentiation
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