Cyclic Stretch-Induced Reorganization of Stress Fibers in Endothelial Cells Chapter uri icon


  • Springer Japan 2016. Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) are subjected to cyclic circumferential stretching generated by the cardiac cycle. This force contributes to the alignment and elongation of ECs along the long axis of the vessel. Thus, ECs align perpendicular to the principal direction of cyclic stretch. At arterial bifurcations and regions of curvature, however, ECs do not exhibit an aligned morphology. The absence of aligned cell morphology at non-straight regions has been attributed to the response of cells to the local mechanical environment. Importantly, these regions show a level of chronic activation of inflammatory signals. This inflammation can become severe under certain conditions and finally contribute to the development of atherosclerotic plaques. Thus, the responses of ECs to their local mechanical environment that include changes in cell structure and intracellular signaling are important in maintaining an antiatherogenic phenotype. In this chapter, we review studies that focused on the response and signaling of ECs subjected to cyclic stretch with particular focus on actin stress fibers.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kaunas, R., & Deguchi, S.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Kaunas, Roland||Deguchi, Shinji

Book Title

  • Vascular Engineering

publication date

  • January 2016