Shear stress induces endothelial transdifferentiation from mouse smooth muscle cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Aug 4;346(3):860-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.05.196. Epub 2006 Jun 9.


Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) under shear stress may alter their gene expression patterns to adapt to a new hemodynamic environment. Their plasticity may play an important role in vascular development, healing, and remodeling as well as vascular lesion formation under abnormal environmental conditions. A mouse vascular SMC line (P53LMACO1) cultured under shear stress significantly increased the mRNA levels of endothelial cell markers including Platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1), von Willebrand factor (vWF), and VE-cadherin, while significantly decreasing the mRNA levels of SMC markers including alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA), calponin-1, smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (SMMHC), and transgelin as compared to static control cells. Protein levels of PECAM-1 and vWF were significantly increased, while protein levels of alpha-SMA were substantially decreased in the shear stress-cultured cells. In addition, shear stress-cultured cells showed an enhanced capability to form capillary-like structures on Matrigel. Thus, shear stress may promote endothelial cell transdifferentiation from SMCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Shape
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Mice
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / cytology*
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / metabolism
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / genetics
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • von Willebrand Factor / genetics
  • von Willebrand Factor / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers
  • Cadherins
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • RNA, Messenger
  • cadherin 5
  • von Willebrand Factor