Gradient fluid shear stress regulates migration of osteoclast precursors
Cell migration is highly sensitive to fluid shear stress (FSS) in blood flow or interstitial fluid flow. However, whether the FSS gradient can regulate the migration of cells remains unclear. In this work, we constructed a parallel-plate flow chamber with different FSS gradients and verified the gradient flow field by particle image velocimetry measurements and finite element analyses. We then investigated the effect of FSS magnitudes and gradients on the migration of osteoclast precursor RAW264.7 cells. Results showed that the cells sensed the FSS gradient and migrated toward the low-FSS region. This FSS gradient-induced migration tended to occur in low-FSS magnitudes and high gradients, e.g., the migration angle relative to flow direction was approximately 90° for 0.1 Pa FSS and 0.2 Pa mm−1 FSS gradient. When chemically inhibiting the calcium signaling pathways of the mechanosensitive cation channel, endoplasmic reticulum, phospholipase C, and extracellular calcium, the cell migration toward the low-FSS region was significantly reduced. This study may provide insights into the mechanism of the recruitment of osteoclast precursors at the site of bone resorption and of mechanical stimulation-induced bone remodeling.