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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Mar 5;269(1):257-64.

Effects of shear stress on eicosanoid gene expression and metabolite production in vascular endothelium as studied in a novel biomechanical perfusion model.

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  • 1Clinical Experimental Research Laboratory, Heart and Lung Institute, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Ostra, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.


This study investigated the effects of shear stress on gene expression of prostacyclin synthesis-related enzymes cyclooxygenases (COX-1 and COX-2), prostacyclin synthase (PGS), and thromboxane synthase (TXS) and their metabolites prostaglandin (PGI(2)) and thromboxane A(2) (TXA(2)) in endothelium of intact conduit vessels. Paired human umbilical veins were perfused at high/low shear stress (25/<4 dyn/cm(2)) at identical intraluminal pressure (20 mmHg) for 1.5, 3, or 6 hours in a computerized vascular model. High shear perfusion induced a significant, monophasic upregulation of PGS and TXS gene expressions after 6 hours. COX-1 and COX-2 mRNA showed a biphasic response with peaks at 1.5 and 6 hours, with a nadir level at 3 hours. Shear-induced gene expression was associated with a significantly greater accumulation of 6-keto prostaglandin F(1alpha) and TXA(2) in the perfusion medium. Thus, shear stress independently of perfusion pressure alters the expression of prostacyclin synthesis-related enzymes and the biosynthesis of their vasoactive metabolites.

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