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Endothelium. 1997;5(2):85-93.

Gene regulation by mechanical forces.

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


Endothelial cells are subjected to various mechanical forces in vivo from the flow of blood across the luminal surface of the blood vessel. The purpose of this review was to examine the data available on how these mechanical forces, in particular cyclic strain, affect the expression and regulation of endothelial cell function. Studies from various investigators using models of cyclic strain in vitro have shown that various vasoactive mediators such as nitric oxide and prostacyclin are induced by the effect of mechanical deformation, and that the expression of these mediators may be regulated at the transcription level by mechanical forces. There also seems to be emerging evidence that endothelial cells may also act as mechanotransducers, whereby the transmission of external forces induces various cytoskeletal changes and second messenger cascades. Furthermore, it seems these forces may act on specific response elements of promoter genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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