Mechanotransduction of shear stress by the endothelium

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


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 languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVascular Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationNew Prospects of Vascular Medicine and Biology with a Multidiscipline Approach
PublisherSpringer Japan
Number of pages39
ISBN (Electronic)9784431548010
ISBN (Print)9784431548003
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Engineering


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