Blood vessels are continuously exposed to various stresses such as mechanical strains and neurosignals. Besides its role as a barrier between blood and other tissues, the endothelium is a highly important cell layer for the regulation of vascular tone. Indeed, depending on the signal perceived by endothelial cells, it can drive a vasoconstrictor or vasodilator signal. This review presents mechano-receptors and neuro-receptors (restricted to neuropeptides) leading to vessel relaxation via the production of nitric oxide. Finally, some pieces of evidence of a potential cross-talk between these two kinds of stimuli are discussed.
Keywords: Endothelial nitric oxide synthase; Endothelium; Mechanosensing; Neurosensing; Vasodilation.
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