Regulation of vascular endothelium inflammatory signalling by shear stress

Mustafa Zakkar*, Gianni D. Angelini, Costanza Emanueli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The vascular endothelium plays a pivotal role in regulating vascular homeostasis. Blood flow exerts several mechanical forces on the luminal surface of the Endothelial Cell (EC) including pressure, circumferential stretch, and shear stress. It is widely believed that shear stress plays a central role in regulating EC inflammatory responses and the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. High shear stress can induce an antiinflammatory status in EC, which is partially mediated by the production of proteins and transcription factors able to suppress different proinflammatory signalling pathways. In this review, we summarise the available evidence regarding the effect of shear stress on vascular EC and smooth muscle cells, the regulation of MAPK and NF-κB including the production of different negative regulators of inflammation such as MKP-1 and NRF2, and the production of microRNAs. We also discuss the possible links between shear stress and the development of atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Vascular Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Surgical Research


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Endothelium
  • Macrophages
  • MicroRNAs
  • Shear stress
  • Signalling pathway
  • Vascular inflammation


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