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Published Online: 4 January 2007

Fluid Shear Stress Effects on Endothelial Cell Cytosolic pH

Publication: Tissue Engineering
Volume 1, Issue Number 1


Fluid flow can modulate endothelial cell intracellular pH (pHi). Venous and arterial shear stresses of 1.4 and 14 dyn/cm2, respectively, induced intracellular acidification. The kinetics of the process and magnitude of acidification were dependent on the level of shear stress. Endothelial cells exposed to a venous shear stress were able to recover from the acidification, whereas cells exposed to an arterial shear stress remained acidic. Addition of SITS (1 mM), a HCO3 /CI exchange inhibitor, greatly reduced the shear stress induced acidification, suggesting that the HCO3 /C1 exchanger is activated by shear stress. Shear stress may activate the exchanger by lowering the [HCO3 ] at the cell surface via convective mass transfer. Altering the HCO3 gradient across the cell membrane activates the exchanger and, as a consequence, results in intracellular acidification. Perfusion with media containing ATP (10 µM) altered the kinetics of flow-induced acidification observed at both shear stress levels. ATP modulation of pHi may be coupled to the rise in [Ca2+]j known to occur with ATP stimulation. To summarize, media perfusion induces intracellular acidification in endothelial cells, and there is evidence to suggest that pHi may serve as a second messenger to modulate flow associated changes in endothelial cell metabolism.

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Published In

cover image Tissue Engineering
Tissue Engineering
Volume 1Issue Number 1Spring 1995
Pages: 53 - 70
PubMed: 19877915


Published online: 4 January 2007
Published in print: Spring 1995


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C.W. Patrick, Jr.
Cox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering, Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005-1892.
Dr. L.V. McIntire
Cox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering, Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005-1892.

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