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Biorheology. 1988;25(1-2):271-8.

Roles of fluid shear stress in physiological regulation of vascular structure and function.

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Research Institute of Applied Electricity, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


The effects of fluid shear stress on the function and structure of the vascular system are outlined, based on the findings obtained in our laboratory or of our colleagues. First, it is pointed out that the adaptive response of the vascular wall to flow changes which we observed in the canine carotid artery shunted with the jugular vein altering the internal diameter to keep the wall shear stress constant, can attain the optimum vascular branching structure as predicted in the minimum work model by Murray. Electronmicroscopic studies of similarly shunted arteries revealing various morphological changes in the endothelial cells have suggested that the shear stress initially affects the endothelium. The in vitro experiments using cultured endothelial cells as well have exhibited that the mitotic activity of the cells significantly increases by applying fluid shear stress. From these findings, it is concluded that the adaptive response of the endothelium to the fluid shear stress is an inherent and key process locally regulating the vascular system to be in the most functional state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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