Blood flow interactions with the vascular endothelium represent a specialized example of mechanical regulation of cell function that has important physiological and pathological cardiovascular consequences. The endothelial monolayer in vivo acts as a signal transduction interface for forces associated with flowing blood (hemodynamic forces) in the acute regulation of artery tone and chronic structural remodeling of arteries, including the pathology of atherosclerosis. Mechanisms related to spatial relationships at the cell surfaces and throughout the cell that influence flow-mediated endothelial mechanotransduction are discussed. In particular, flow-mediated ion channel activation and cytoskeletal dynamics are considered in relation to topographic analyses of the luminal and abluminal surfaces of living endothelial cells.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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