Rhombic organization of microvilli domains found in a cell model of the human intestine
Symmetry is rarely found on cellular surfaces. An exception is the brush border of microvilli, which are essential for the proper function of transport epithelia. In a healthy intestine, they appear densely packed as a 2D-hexagonal lattice. For in vitro testing of intestinal transport the cell line Caco-2 has been established. As reported by electron microscopy, their microvilli arrange primarily in clusters developing secondly into a 2D-hexagonal lattice. Here, atomic force microscopy (AFM)
... employed under aqueous buffer conditions on Caco-2 cells, which were cultivated on permeable filter membranes for optimum differentiation. For analysis, the exact position of each microvillus was detected by computer vision; subsequent Fourier transformation yielded the type of 2D-lattice. It was confirmed, that Caco-2 cells can build a hexagonal lattice of microvilli and form clusters. Moreover, a second type of arrangement was discovered, namely a rhombic lattice, which appeared at sub-maximal densities of microvilli with (29 ± 4) microvilli / μm 2 . Altogether, the findings indicate the existence of a yet undescribed pattern in cellular organization. Citation: Franz J, Grünebaum J, Schäfer M, Mulac D, Rehfeldt F, Langer K, et al. (2018) Rhombic organization of microvilli domains found in a cell model of the human intestine. PLoS ONE 13(1): e0189970. https://doi.org/10.