Cell volume regulation is a critical mechanism for cell homeostasis and depends on the osmotic water permeability (Pf) of the cell plasma membrane. The Pf of human mesothelial cells is unknown although they contribute to serosal fluid turnover.
In this study we measured the osmotic water permeability of benign human mesothelial cells (MeT-5A) and of epithelioid (M14K) and sarcomatoid (ZL34) malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) cells in response to acute hyperosmotic stress. We also assessed the changes in their Pf after preconditioning with 4% glucose for 24 hours. In both cases we also assessed the role of AQP1 inhibition (0.1 mM HgCl2) on the Pf. Finally, we assessed corresponding changes in the AQP1 plasma membrane availability by immunofluorescence.
We report that MeT-5A cells have a significantly higher Pf as compared to M14K and ZL34 MPM cells [4.85E-03±2.37E-03 cm/sec (n=17) versus 2.74E-03±0.74E-03 cm/sec (n=11) and 2.86E-03±0.11E-03 cm/sec (n=11)]. AQP1 inhibition significantly decreased the Pf in all cells lines (p<0.001 in all cases). High glucose preconditioning for 24 hours significantly increased MeT-5A Pf(p<0.001), did not influence M14K Pf (p=0.19) and significantly reduced ZL34 Pf (p=0.02). Comparing cell lines after high glucose preconditioning, MeT-5A Pf was significantly higher than that of M14K and ZL34 MPM cells and the AQP1 inhibition effect was significant in MeT-5A and M14K cells. These results were corroborated by AQP1 immunofluorescence.
We provide evidence for a differential regulation of Pf in benign and MPM cells that require further mechanistic investigation.