Pulsatility and high shear stress deteriorate barrier phenotype in brain microvascular endothelium

Fernando Garcia-Polite, Jordi Martorell, Paula Del Rey-Puech, Pedro Melgar-Lesmes, Caroline C. O’Brien, Jaume Roquer, Angel Ois, Alessandro Principe, Elazer R. Edelman, Mercedes Balcells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016. Microvascular endothelial cells at the blood–brain barrier exhibit a protective phenotype, which is highly induced by biochemical and biomechanical stimuli. Amongst them, shear stress enhances junctional tightness and limits transport at capillary-like levels. Abnormal flow patterns can reduce functional features of macrovascular endothelium. We now examine if this is true in brain microvascular endothelial cells. We suggest in this paper a complex response of endothelial cells to aberrant forces under different flow domains. Human brain microvascular endothelial cells were exposed to physiological or abnormal flow patterns. Physiologic shear (10–20 dyn/cm2) upregulates expression of tight junction markers Zona Occludens 1 (1.7-fold) and Claudin-5 (more than 2-fold). High shear stress (40 dyn/cm2) and/or pulsatility decreased their expression to basal levels and altered junctional morphology. We exposed cells to pathological shear stress patterns followed by capillary-like conditions. Results showed reversible recovery on the expression of tight junction markers. Flow protection of barrier phenotype commensurate with junctional signaling pathways decrease (Src, 0.25-fold, ERK, 0.77-fold) when compared to static conditions. This decrease was lost under high shear and pulsatile flow. In conclusion, abnormal shear stress inherent to systemic vascular disease leads to barrier impairment, which could be reverted by hemodynamic interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2614-2625
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Blood–brain barrier
  • capillaries
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • hemodynamics
  • microcirculation
  • neurovascular unit
  • vascular biology

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