Differential effects of shear stress and cyclic stretch on focal adhesion remodeling, site-specific FAK phosphorylation, and small GTPases in human lung endothelial cells.
ABSTRACT Regulation of endothelial cell (EC) permeability by bioactive molecules is associated with specific patterns of cytoskeletal and cell contact remodeling. A role for mechanical factors such as shear stress (SS) and cyclic stretch (CS) in cytoskeletal rearrangements and regulation of EC permeability becomes increasingly recognized. This paper examined redistribution of focal adhesion (FA) proteins, site-specific focal adhesion kinase (FAK) phosphorylation, small GTPase activation and barrier regulation in human pulmonary EC exposed to laminar shear stress (15 dyn/cm2) or cyclic stretch (18% elongation) in vitro. SS caused peripheral accumulation of FAs, whereas CS induced randomly distributed FAs attached to the ends of newly formed stress fibers. SS activated small GTPase Rac without effects on Rho, whereas 18% CS activated without effect on Rac. SS increased transendothelial electrical resistance (TER) in EC monolayers, which was further elevated by barrier-protective phospholipid sphingosine 1-phosphate. Finally, SS induced FAK phosphorylation at Y576, whereas CS induced FAK phosphorylation at Y397 and Y576. These results demonstrate for the first time differential effects of SS and CS on Rho and Rac activation, FA redistribution, site-specific FAK phosphorylation, and link them with SS-mediated barrier enhancement. Thus, our results suggest common signaling and cytoskeletal mechanisms shared by mechanical and chemical factors involved in EC barrier regulation.
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ABSTRACT: The role of blood flow in regulating signaling pathways and gene expression in the blood vasculature is well known. Recent studies have identified equally important roles of flow-mediated signaling in the lymphatic circulation including control of lymphatic vascular growth, remodeling, regeneration and maintenance of the lymphatic fate. In this review, we summarize these advances focusing on the role of fluid dynamics in control of lymphatic vasculature formation.07/2014; 6:14. DOI:10.1186/2045-824X-6-14
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ABSTRACT: It has been well established that biomechanical environment can influence functionality of biological cells. There are evidences that show mechanical cyclic stretch can promote smooth muscle cell (SMC) markers in endothelial cells (ECs). The objective of this study was to determine whether mechanical stimuli in the forms of uniaxial and equiaxial cyclic stretches (UNCS and EQCS) can affect endothelial and smooth muscle gene expressions in mRNA level of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). For this purpose, 10% uniaxial UNCS and EQCS (60 cycles/min for 24 h) were applied on HUVECs, and using real-time PCR expressions of three EC specific markers, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2, also known as FLK-1) , von Willebrand Factor (vWF) and vascular endothelial-cadherin (VE-cadherin) and two SMC specific genes, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (SMMHC) were quantified. Moreover, alterations in cell height were analyzed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Results showed that cyclic UNCS for 24 h downregulated the expression of all EC markers and upregulated the expression of all SMC markers while low effects on HUVECs height were observed. Cyclic EQCS in the same conditions resulted in minor effect on SMC gene expression in HUVECs, while led to strong reduction in vWF with no significant change in other two endothelial genes. Cyclic EQCS considerably elevated cell height. Results proposed that ECs can transdifferentiate to SMC phenotype under specific microenvironmental conditions.Cell Biology International 01/2015; DOI:10.1002/cbin.10443 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We have developed a lab-on-a-chip system for continuous and non-invasive monitoring of microfluidic cell cultures using integrated high-frequency contactless impedance spectroscopy. Electrically insulated microfabricated interdigitated electrode structures were embedded into four individually addressable microchambers to reliably and reproducibly detect cell-substrate interactions, cell viability and metabolic activity. While silicon nitride passivated sensor substrates provided a homogeneous cell culture surface that minimized cell orientation along interdigitated electrode structures, the application of high-frequency AC fields reduced the impact of the 300 nm thick passivation layer on sensor sensitivity. The additional implementation of multivariate data analysis methods such as partial least square (PLS) for high-frequency impedance spectra provided unambiguous information on intracellular pathway activation, up and down-regulation of protein synthesis as well as global cellular stress responses. A comparative cell analysis using connective tissue fibroblasts showed that high-frequency contactless impedance spectroscopy and time-resolved quantification of IL-6 secretion using ELISA provided similar results following stimulation with circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and TNFα. The combination of microfluidics with contactless impedance sensing and time-resolved quantification of stress factor release will provide biologist with a new tool to (a) establish a variety of uniform cell culture surfaces that feature complex biochemistries, micro- and nanopatterns; and (b) to simultaneously characterize cell responses under physiologically relevant conditions using a complementary non-invasive cell analysis method.The Analyst 08/2014; 139(20). DOI:10.1039/c4an00824c · 3.91 Impact Factor