Endothelial mechanobiology, 2020

Topics: mechanpbiology, mechanotransduction, endothelial cells, vasculatory disease

Authors: Ming He, Marcy Martin, Traci Marin, Zhen Chen, Brendan Gongol


Lining the luminal surface of the vasculature, endothelial cells (ECs) are in direct contact with and differentially respond to hemodynamic forces depending on their anatomic location. Pulsatile shear stress (PS) is defined by laminar flow and is predominantly located in straight vascular regions, while disturbed or oscillatory shear stress (OS) is localized to branch points and bifurcations. Such flow patterns have become a central focus of vascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, because the focal distribution of endothelial dysfunction corresponds to regions exposed to OS, whereas endothelial homeostasis is maintained in regions defined by PS. Deciphering the mechanotransduction events that occur in ECs in response to differential flow patterns has required the innovation of multidisciplinary approaches in both in vitro and in vivo systems. The results from these studies have identified a multitude of shear stress-regulated molecular networks in the endothelium that are implicated in health and disease. This review outlines the significance of scientific findings generated in collaboration with Dr. Shu Chien.

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