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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2007 Oct;27(10):2150-6. Epub 2007 Aug 2.

Laminar shear inhibits tubule formation and migration of endothelial cells by an angiopoietin-2 dependent mechanism.

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  • 1Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA.



Fluid shear stress plays a role in angiogenesis. Laminar shear stress (LS) promotes endothelial cell (EC) quiescence, whereas oscillatory shear stress (OS) promotes EC turnover and dysfunction, which could lead to pathological angiogenesis. We hypothesized that LS inhibits EC migration and tubule formation, 2 functions important in angiogenesis, by inhibiting the secretion of proangiogenic factors.


Human umbilical vein ECs (HUVECs), human microvascular ECs (HMECs), or bovine aortic ECs (BAECs) were subjected to either LS (15 dyn/cm2) or OS (+/-5 dyn/cm2) for 24 hours and used in Matrigel tubule formation or scratch migration assays. Exposure of HUVECs, HMECs, but not BAECs, to LS inhibited tubule formation compared with OS. LS also inhibited migration of HUVECs and BAECs compared with OS. Angiopoietin-2 (Ang2), a known angiogenic protein, was found to be downregulated by LS both in cultured ECs and mouse aortas. Using Ang2 siRNA, Ang2 knockdown blocked OS-mediated migration and tubule formation and the LS-inhibited tubule formation was partially rescued by recombinant Ang2.


Our data suggests that Ang2 produced by OS in ECs plays a critical role in migration and tubule formation, and may play an important role in diseases with disturbed flow and angiogenesis.

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