Biomechanical regulation of vascular smooth muscle cell functions: from in vitro to in vivo understanding

Juhui Qiu, Yiming Zheng, Jianjun Hu, Donghua Liao, Hans Gregersen, Xiaoyan Deng, Yubo Fan, Guixue Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) have critical functions in vascular diseases. Haemodynamic factors are important regulators of VSMC functions in vascular pathophysiology. VSMCs are physiologically active in the three-dimensional matrix and interact with the shear stress sensor of endothelial cells (ECs). The purpose of this review is to illustrate how haemodynamic factors regulate VSMC functions under two-dimensional conditions in vitro or three-dimensional co-culture conditions in vivo. Recent advances show that high shear stress induces VSMC apoptosis through endothelial-released nitric oxide and low shear stress upregulates VSMC proliferation and migration through platelet-derived growth factor released by ECs. This differential regulation emphasizes the need to construct more actual environments for future research on vascular diseases (such as atherosclerosis and hypertension) and cardiovascular tissue engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20130852
JournalJournal of the Royal Society. Interface
Issue number90
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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