Cell type-specific suppression of mechanosensitive genes by audible sound stimulation.
PLoS One. 2018 ;13(1):e0188764. Epub 2018 Jan 31. PMID: 29385174
Audible sound is a ubiquitous environmental factor in nature that transmits oscillatory compressional pressure through the substances. To investigate the property of the sound as a mechanical stimulus for cells, an experimental system was set up using 94.0 dB sound which transmits approximately 10 mPa pressure to the cultured cells. Based on research on mechanotransduction and ultrasound effects on cells, gene responses to the audible sound stimulation were analyzed by varying several sound parameters: frequency, wave form, composition, and exposure time. Real-time quantitative PCR analyses revealed a distinct suppressive effect for several mechanosensitive and ultrasound-sensitive genes that were triggered by sounds. The effect was clearly observed in a wave form- and pressure level-specific manner, rather than the frequency, and persisted for several hours. At least two mechanisms are likely to be involved in this sound response: transcriptional control and RNA degradation. ST2 stromal cells and C2C12 myoblasts exhibited a robust response, whereas NIH3T3 cells were partially and NB2a neuroblastoma cells were completely insensitive, suggesting a cell type-specific response to sound. These findings reveal a cell-level systematic response to audible sound and uncover novel relationships between life and sound.