Hemodynamic forces are known to be able to induce an inflammatory phenotype in endothelial cells (ECs). The EC glycocalyx (GCX) is a dynamic structure which is regulated in response to different stimuli and hypothesized as an important contributor to the mechanotransduction of wall shear stresses (WSS). In this work, we used a three dimensional in vitro EC culture model with a 50% asymmetric stenosis to investigate degradation of the GCX by increased matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity in regions of WSS gradients and how this degradation might create a proinflammatory environment. Experiments showed GCX degradation was observed in regions of WSSGs created by a 50% asymmetric stenosis. Furthermore, inhibition of MMP activity abolished this regional degradation. The integrity of the GCX altered EC morphological elongation to flow and leukocyte adhesion patterns. These results help strengthen the hypothesis that the EC GCX is involved in the mechanotransduction of hemodynamic forces and that the GCX is regulated by MMP activity in regions of WSSGs.
Annals of Biomedical Engineering – Springer Journals
Published: May 4, 2017
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