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Research Paper

Wall Shear Stress – an Important Determinant of Endothelial Cell Function and Structure – in the Arterial System in vivo

Discrepancies with Theory
Reneman R.S.a · Arts T.b · Hoeks A.P.G.b

Author affiliations

Departments of aPhysiology and bBiophysics, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Research Paper

Received: August 28, 2005
Accepted: December 17, 2005
Published online: May 17, 2006
Issue release date: May 2006

Number of Print Pages: 19
Number of Figures: 1
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 1018-1172 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0135 (Online)

For additional information: https://www.karger.com/JVR

Abstract

It has been well established that wall shear stress is an important determinant of endothelial cell function and gene expression as well as of its structure. There is increasing evidence that low wall shear stress, as pres- ent in artery bifurcations opposite to the flow divider where atherosclerotic lesions preferentially originate, expresses an atherogenic endothelial gene profile. Besides, wall shear stress regulates arterial diameter by modifying the release of vasoactive mediators by endothelial cells. Most of the studies on the influence of wall shear stress on endothelial cell function and structure have been performed in vitro, generally exposing endothelial cells from different vascular regions to an average wall shear stress level calculated according to Poiseuille’s law, which does not hold for the in vivo situation, assuming wall shear stress to be constant along the arterial tree. Also in vivo wall shear stress has been determined based upon theory, assuming the velocity profile in arteries to be parabolic, which is generally not the case. Wall shear stress has been calculated, because of the lack of techniques to assess wall shear stress in vivo. In recent years, techniques have been developed to accurately assess velocity profiles in arterioles, using fluorescently labeled particles as flow tracers, and non-invasively in large arteries by means of ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging. Wall shear rate is derived from the in vivo recorded velocity profiles and wall shear stress is estimated as the product of wall shear rate and plasma viscosity in arterioles and whole blood viscosity in large arteries. In this review, we will discuss wall shear stress in vivo, paying attention to its assessment and especially to the results obtained in both arterioles and large arteries. The limitations of the methods currently in use are discussed as well. The data obtained in the arterial system in vivo are compared with the theoretically predicted ones, and the consequences of values deviating from theory for in vitro studies are considered. Applications of wall shear stress as in flow-mediated arterial dilation, clinically in use to assess endothelial cell (dys)function, are also addressed. This review starts with some background considerations and some theoretical aspects.

© 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel


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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Research Paper

Received: August 28, 2005
Accepted: December 17, 2005
Published online: May 17, 2006
Issue release date: May 2006

Number of Print Pages: 19
Number of Figures: 1
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 1018-1172 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0135 (Online)

For additional information: https://www.karger.com/JVR


Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.