ATP-depletion in renal cultured cells has been used as a model for studying various cytoskeletal and functional alterations induced by renal ischemia. This communication explores the reversibility of these effects utilizing a novel method  that depleted ATP (ATP-D) to 2% of control within 30 minutes and caused complete recovery (REC) of ATP in one hour. Under confocal microscopy, ATP-D (30 min) caused thinning of F-actin from the microvilli, cortical region, and basal stress fibers, with the concurrent appearance of intracellular F-actin patches. These changes were more pronounced after 60 minutes of ATP-D. One hour of REC following 30 minutes of ATP-D produced complete recovery of F-actin in each region of the cell. However, after 60 minutes of ATP-D, a heterogeneous F-actin recovery pattern was observed: almost complete recovery of the apical ring and microvilli, thinned cortical actin with occasional breaks along the basolateral membrane, and a dramatic reduction in basal stress fiber density. The time course of cortical actin and actin ring disruption and recovery coincided with a drop and recovery in the transepithelial resistance and the cytoskeletal dissociation and reassociation of the Na,K-ATPase. Additionally, the microvilli retracted into the cells during ATP-D, a process that was reversed during REC. Triton extraction and confocal microscopy demonstrated that villin remained closely associated with microvillar actin during both ATP-D and REC. These distinctive regional differences in the responses of F-actin to ATP depletion and repletion in cultured renal epithelial cells may help to clarify some of the differential tubular responses to ischemia and reperfusion in the kidney.
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