Send to

Choose Destination
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Dec;1863(12):3096-3105. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2016.10.001. Epub 2016 Oct 8.

Mechanical strain stimulates vasculogenesis and expression of angiogenesis guidance molecules of embryonic stem cells through elevation of intracellular calcium, reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide generation.

Author information

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany.
Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiology Division, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany.
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany. Electronic address:



Differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) cells may be regulated by mechanical strain. Herein, signaling molecules underlying mechanical stimulation of vasculogenesis and expression of angiogenesis guidance cues were investigated in ES cell-derived embryoid bodies.


Treatment of embryoid bodies with 10% static mechanical strain using a Flexercell strain system significantly increased CD31-positive vascular structures and the angiogenesis guidance molecules plexinB1, ephrin B2, neuropilin1 (NRP1), semaphorin 4D (sem4D) and robo4 as well as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) and platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) as evaluated by Western blot and real time RT-PCR. In contrast ephrin type 4 receptor B (EphB4) expression was down-regulated upon mechanical strain, indicating an arterial-type differentiation. Robo1 protein expression was modestly increased with no change in mRNA expression. Mechanical strain increased intracellular calcium as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO). Mechanical strain-induced vasculogenesis was abolished by the NOS inhibitor L-NAME, the NADPH oxidase inhibitor VAS2870, upon chelation of intracellular calcium by BAPTA as well as upon siRNA inactivation of ephrin B2, NRP1 and robo4. BAPTA blunted the strain-induced expression of angiogenic growth factors, the increase in NO and ROS as well as the expression of NRP1, sem4D and plexinB1, whereas ephrin B2, EphB4 as well as robo1 and robo4 expression were not impaired.


Mechanical strain stimulates vasculogenesis of ES cells by the intracellular messengers ROS, NO and calcium as well as by upregulation of angiogenesis guidance molecules and the angiogenic growth factors VEGF, FGF-2 and PDGF-BB.


Embryonic stem cells; Intracellular calcium; Mechanical strain; Nitric oxide; Reactive oxygen species; Vasculogenesis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Publication type, MeSH terms, Substances

Publication type

MeSH terms


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center