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Mol Med Today. 1999 Jan;5(1):40-6.

Blood flow and vascular gene expression: fluid shear stress as a modulator of endothelial phenotype.

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Dept of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Falk Cardiovascular Research Center, CA 94305-5406, USA.


Vascular endothelium, the cellular monolayer lining the entire cardiovascular system, is exposed to a variety of biochemical and biomechanical stimuli. Fluid shear stresses generated by blood flow in the vasculature can profoundly influence the phenotype of the endothelium by regulating the activity of certain flow-sensitive proteins (for example, enzymes), as well as by modulating gene expression. The finding that specific fluid mechanical forces can alter endothelial structure and function has provided a framework for a mechanistic understanding of flow-dependent processes, ranging from vascular remodeling in response to hemodynamic changes, to the initiation and localization of chronic vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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