Mechanosensitive Pathways Involved in Cardiovascular Development and Homeostasis in Zebrafish

J Vasc Res. 2019;56(6):273-283. doi: 10.1159/000501883. Epub 2019 Aug 29.


Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and cardiac arrhythmia are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in developed countries and are steadily increasing in developing countries. Fundamental mechanistic studies at the molecular, cellular, and animal model levels are critical for the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases. Despite being phylogenetically distant from humans, zebrafish share remarkable similarity in the genetics and electrophysiology of the cardiovascular system. In the last 2 decades, the development and deployment of innovative genetic manipulation techniques greatly facilitated the application of zebrafish as an animal model for studying basic biology and diseases. Hemodynamic shear stress is intimately involved in vascular development and homeostasis. The critical mechanosensitive signaling pathways in cardiovascular development and pathophysiology previously studied in mammals have been recapitulated in zebrafish. In this short article, we reviewed recent knowledge about the role of mechanosensitive pathways such as Notch, PKCε/PFKFB3, and Wnt/Ang2 in cardiovas-cular development and homeostasis from studies in the -zebrafish model.

Keywords: Cardiovascular development; Mechanosensitive pathways; Mechanotransduction; Shear stress; Zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular System / embryology
  • Cardiovascular System / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Homeostasis
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular*
  • Organogenesis
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Zebrafish / embryology
  • Zebrafish / genetics
  • Zebrafish / metabolism*
  • Zebrafish Proteins / genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins / metabolism*


  • Zebrafish Proteins