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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 May 8;1589(3):233-46.

Effect of shear stress on migration and integrin expression in macaque trophoblast cells.

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Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of California, Davis, 95616-8643, USA.


During fetal development, trophoblast cells enter endometrial capillaries, migrate within the uterine vasculature, and eventually reside within spiral arteries of the uterus. This invasive activity is accompanied by upregulation of trophoblast beta1 integrin expression. Fluid mechanical shear stress regulates migration and expression of adhesion molecules in vascular endothelial cells, but nothing is known about the effects of shear stress on trophoblast cells. We tested the hypothesis that shear stress regulates the motility and beta1 integrin expression of trophoblast cells. Early gestation macaque trophoblast cells were cultured in 1 x 1-mm square cross-section capillary tubes within which the flow field was determined using three-dimensional computational fluid dynamic simulations. Trophoblast cells in the capillary tubes were exposed to a steady shear stress of 7.5, 15, or 30 dyn/cm2 for up to 24 h. In the absence of flow, trophoblast cells were highly dynamic with constant nondirectional positional shifts but with no net cell migration. Exposure of the cells to shear stress within 24-72 h of cell plating significantly increased the level of this activity and led to net cell migration in the direction of flow. Shear stress also increased the expression and altered the topography of beta1 integrin. These results suggest that shear stress regulates trophoblast motility and beta1 integrin expression in vitro.

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