Integrin-substrate interactions underlying shear-induced inhibition of the inflammatory response of endothelial cells

N Thin Luu, Katie E Glen, Stuart Egginton, G Ed Rainger, Gerard B Nash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Conditioning of endothelial cells by shear stress suppresses their response to inflammatory cytokines. We questioned whether signalling through different integrin-matrix interactions, previously associated with the pathogenic effects of disturbed flow, supported the anti-inflammatory action of steady shear. Primary human endothelial cells were cultured on different substrates and exposed to shear stress (2.0Pa) for varying periods before stimulation with tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF). Shear-conditioning inhibited cytokine-induced recruitment of flowing neutrophils. However, the effect was similar for culture on collagen, laminin or fibronectin, even when seeding was reduced to 2 hours, and shear to 3 hours before TNF treatment (to minimise deposition of endothelial matrix). Nevertheless, in short- or longer-term cultures, reduction in expression of β(1)-integrin (but not β(3)-integrin) using siRNA essentially ablated the effect of shear-conditioning on neutrophil recruitment. Studies of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) phosphorylation, siRNA against FAK and a FAK-inhibitor (PF573228) indicated that FAK activity was an essential component downstream of β(1)-integrin. In addition, MAP-kinase p38 was phosphorylated downstream of FAK and also required for functional modification. Mechanotransduction through β(1)-integrins, FAK and p38 is required for anti-inflammatory effects of steady shear stress. Separation of the pathways which underlie pathological versus protective responses of different patterns of flow is required to enable therapeutic modification or mimicry, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-308
Number of pages11
JournalThrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


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