The ability of endothelial cells to convert forces from blood flow to biochemical signals underlies vascular health and disease. While the mechanisms of endothelial cell mechanotransduction are still an area of ongoing research, a picture is emerging that encompasses the temporal and spatial complexity of blood flow patterns and the highly heterogeneous and dynamic mechanical properties of endothelial cells. In this framework, cell sense blood flow-induced shear stress through specialized structures such as the glycocalyx, membrane microdomains, focal adhesions and adherens junctions, where forces are converted to biochemical signaling cascades via alterations in protein conformations and associations. The result of these processes are the production of vasodilators and the activation of genetic transcription factors that lead to changes in endothelium permeability, adhesiveness to circulating leukocytes and platelets, and changes in vascular diameter. Therefore, understanding the mechanobiology of endothelial cells is at the heart of promoting vascular health and predicting, diagnosing, treating, and preventing vascular disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Vascular Engineering|
|Subtitle of host publication||New Prospects of Vascular Medicine and Biology with a Multidiscipline Approach|
|Number of pages||39|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2016|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)