Send to

Choose Destination
J Vasc Surg. 2000 Oct;32(4):789-94.

Endothelial cell response to different mechanical forces.

Author information

Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.



Endothelial cells (ECs) are subjected to the physical forces induced by blood flow. The aim of this study was to directly compare the EC signaling pathway in response to cyclic strain and shear stress in cultured bovine aortic ECs.


The ECs were seeded on flexible collagen I-coated silicone membranes to examine the effect of cyclic strain. The membranes were deformed with a 150-mm Hg vacuum at a rate of 60 cycle/min for up to 120 minutes. For a comparison of the effect of shear stress, ECs from the same batch as used in the strain experiments were seeded on collagen I-coated silicone sheets. The ECs were then subjected to 10 dyne/cm(2) shear with the use of a parallel flow chamber for up to 120 minutes. Activation of the mitogen- activated protein kinases was assessed by determining phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 with immunoblotting.


ERK, JNK, and p38 were activated by both cyclic strain and shear stress. Both cyclic strain and shear stress activated JNK with a similar temporal pattern and magnitude and a peak at 30 minutes. However, shear stress induced a more robust and rapid activation of ERK and p38, compared with cyclic strain.


Our results indicate that different mechanical forces induced differential activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases. This suggests that there may be different mechanoreceptors in ECs to detect the different forces or alternative coupling pathways from a single receptor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center