Nano-Mechanical Characterization of Ataxia Telangiectasia Cells Treated with Dexamethasone


Ataxia telangiectasia is a rare genetic disease and no therapy is currently available. Glucocorticoid analogues have been shown to improve the neurological symptoms of treated patients. In the present study ataxia telangiectasia and wild type cells were used as a cellular model and treated with dexamethasone. The cells were subsequently investigated for membrane and whole cell mechanical properties by atomic force microscopy. In addition, cytoskeleton protein dynamics and nuclear shapes were assayed by fluorescence microscopy, while western blots were used to assess actin and tubulin content. At the macro level, dexamethasone directly modified the cell shape, Young’s modulus and cytoskeleton protein dynamics. At the nano level, the roughness of the cell surface and the local nano-mechanical proprieties were found to be affected by Dexa. Our results show that ataxia telangiectasia and wild type cells are affected by Dexa, although there are dissimilarities in some macro-level and nano-level features between the tested cell lines. The Young’s modulus of the cells appears to depend mainly on nuclear shape, with a slight contribution from the tested cytoskeleton proteins. The current study proposes that dexamethasone influences ataxia telangiectasia cell membranes contents, cell components and cell shape.

DOI: 10.1007/s12013-016-0775-0

5 Figures and Tables


Citations per Year

203 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has 203 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.

Cite this paper

@article{Menotta2016NanoMechanicalCO, title={Nano-Mechanical Characterization of Ataxia Telangiectasia Cells Treated with Dexamethasone}, author={Michele Menotta and S. Biagiotti and Giulia Bartolini and Bianchi Marzia and Sara Orazi and Aldo Germani and Luciana Chessa and Mauro Magnani}, journal={Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics}, year={2016}, volume={75}, pages={95-102} }