Cells in fluidic environments are sensitive to flow frequency

Mercedes Balcells, Marta Fernández Suárez, María Vázquez, Elazer R. Edelman

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Virtually all cells accommodate to their mechanical environment. In particular, cells subject to flow respond to rapid changes in fluid shear stress (SS), cyclic stretch (CS), and pressure. Recent studies have focused on the effect of pulsatility on cellular behavior. Since cells of many different tissue beds are constantly exposed to fluid flows over a narrow range of frequencies, we hypothesized that an intrinsic flow frequency that is optimal for determining cell phenotype exists. We report here that cells from various tissue beds (bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC), rat small intestine epithelial cells (RSIEC), and rat lung epithelial cells (RLEC)) proliferate maximally when cultured in a perfusion bioreactor under pulsatile conditions at a specific frequency, independent of the applied SS. Vascular endothelial and pulmonary epithelial cell proliferation peaked under 1 Hz pulsatile flow. In contrast, proliferation of gastrointestinal cells, which in their physiological context are subject to no flow or higher wavelength signal, was maximum at 0.125 Hz or under no flow. Moreover, exposure of BAEC to pulsatile flow of varying frequency influenced their nitric oxide synthase activity and prostacyclin production, which reached maximum values at 1 Hz. Notably, the "optimal" frequencies for the cell types examined correspond to the physiologic operating range of the organs from where they were initially derived. These findings suggest that frequency, independent of shear, is an essential determinant of cell response in pulsatile environments.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)329-335
Nombre de pàgines7
RevistaJournal of Cellular Physiology
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - de jul. 2005


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