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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Sep 17, 1996; 93(19): 10417–10422.
PMCID: PMC38399

Identification of vascular endothelial genes differentially responsive to fluid mechanical stimuli: cyclooxygenase-2, manganese superoxide dismutase, and endothelial cell nitric oxide synthase are selectively up-regulated by steady laminar shear stress.

Abstract

Early atherosclerotic lesions develop in a topographical pattern that strongly suggests involvement of hemodynamic forces in their pathogenesis. We hypothesized that certain endothelial genes, which exhibit differential responsiveness to distinct fluid mechanical stimuli, may participate in the atherogenic process by modulating, on a local level within the arterial wall, the effects of systemic risk factors. A differential display strategy using cultured human endothelial cells has identified two genes, manganese superoxide dismutase and cyclooxygenase-2, that exhibit selective and sustained up-regulation by steady laminar shear stress (LSS). Turbulent shear stress, a nonlaminar fluid mechanical stimulus, does not induce these genes. The endothelial form of nitric oxide synthase also demonstrates a similar LSS-selective pattern of induction. Thus, three genes with potential atheroprotective (antioxidant, antithrombotic, and antiadhesive) activities manifest a differential response to distinct fluid mechanical stimuli, providing a possible mechanistic link between endothelial gene expression and early events in atherogenesis. The activities of these and other LSS-responsive genes may have important implications for the pathogenesis and prevention of atherosclerosis.

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    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Sep 17, 1996; 93(19)10417

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