Shear Stress Magnitude Is Critical in Regulating the Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Even With Endothelial Growth Medium

Biotechnol Lett. 2011 Dec;33(12):2351-9. doi: 10.1007/s10529-011-0706-5. Epub 2011 Jul 31.


Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) were seeded onto the inner surface of a tubular silicon construct and, after 24 h, were exposed to a shearing stress of either 2.5 or 10 dyne/cm(2) for 1 day. The fluid contained endothelial growth factors in both cases. Morphological changes and cytoskeletal rearrangements were observed in the stimulated cells. Immunofluorescence staining showed that low (2.5 dyne/cm(2)) and high shear stress (10 dyne/cm(2)) resulted in the expression of von Willebrand factor (vWF) and calponin, respectively. At low shear stress, CD31 (PECAM-1) was significantly expressed whereas vWF and KDR expression was only slightly higher than those under 10 dyne/cm(2). All three markers related to smooth muscle cells (myocardin, myosin heavy chain, and SM-22α) had significantly higher expression under shear stress of 10 dyne/cm(2) compared with a 2.5 dyne/cm(2), even in endothelial growth medium. Shear stress plays a critical role in regulating MSC differentiation and must be considered for bioengineered blood vessels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology*
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular / drug effects
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular / physiology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Shear Strength / drug effects


  • Endothelial Growth Factors