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Histochem Cell Biol. 2004 Nov;122(5):477-83. Epub 2004 Nov 3.

Shear stress-induced upregulation of connexin 43 expression in endothelial cells on upstream surfaces of rat cardiac valves.

Author information

1
Department of Developmental Molecular Anatomy, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Maidashi 3-1-1, Higashi-ku, 812-8582 Fukuoka, Japan. inai@ana2.med.kyushu-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Endothelial expression of the gap junction proteins, connexin (Cx) 37, Cx40, and Cx43, varies within the vascular network. While previous studies suggest that shear stress may upregulate Cx43, it is not well understood if shear stress affects the expression of all endothelial connexins and to what extent. Endothelial cells on the upstream and downstream surfaces of cardiac valves are subjected to considerably different intensities of shear stress. We therefore reasoned that we could determine the extent hemodynamic forces affect the expression of Cx37, Cx40, and Cx43 by comparing their immunohistochemical distribution on the upstream and downstream surfaces of rat cardiac valves. We found 70- to 200-fold greater expression of Cx43 in the endothelial cells on the upstream than on the downstream surfaces. However, Cx37 was expressed almost equally in the endothelial cells on upstream and downstream surfaces, and Cx40, a major connexin in most vascular endothelial cells, was not detected on either surface. In addition to the heterogeneity in Cx43 expression, endothelial cells on the upstream surface were 35% to 65% smaller than those on the corresponding downstream surface. These results suggest that shear stress may affect endothelial cell size and Cx43 expression but not Cx37 expression.

PMID:
15558296
DOI:
10.1007/s00418-004-0717-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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