Antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine increasing cell adhesion capability could facilitate the biocompatibility processes

Walter Malorni, Paola Matarrese, Roberto Rivabene, Silvia Paradisi, Gianfranco Donelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cell adhesion plays an important role in several cell processes and functions, including differentiation, proliferation and death. An important role for cell attachment to medical devices in biocompatibility studies has also been hypothesized. In this paper we report that the use of the antioxidant drug N-acetyl-cysteine is capable of increasing the adhesion properties of epithelial cells in culture. This is associated with a modification of specific cytoskeletal element assembly, such as microfilament system molecules. In contrast, no quantitative alterations in the expression of certain surface receptors for extracellular matrix molecules, such as VLA2, VLA3 and VLA6, are found. These data seem to indicate that intracellular oxidative balance, in particular of thiol groups, could play a key role in the cell adhesion properties and that N-acetyl-cysteine treatment, acting as 'thiol supply', could be of importance in several circumstances, including biocompatibility of medical devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-928
Number of pages8
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 1996


  • Antioxidants
  • Biocompatibility
  • Cell adhesion
  • Extracellular matrix
  • N-acetylcysteine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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