Fluid Mechanical Forces and Endothelial Mitochondria: A Bioengineering Perspective

Christopher G. Scheitlin, Devi M. Nair, Juan A. Crestanello, Jay L. Zweier, B. Rita Alevriadou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Endothelial cell dysfunction is the hallmark of every cardiovascular disease/condition, including atherosclerosis and ischemia/reperfusion injury. Fluid shear stress acting on the vascular endothelium is known to regulate cell homeostasis. Altered hemodynamics is thought to play a causative role in endothelial dysfunction. The dysfunction is associated with/preceded by mitochondrial oxidative stress. Studies by our group and others have shown that the form and/or function of the mitochondrial network are affected when endothelial cells are exposed to shear stress in the absence or presence of additional physico-chemical stimuli. The present review will summarize the current knowledge on the interconnections among intracellular Ca2+–nitric oxide–mitochondrial reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial fusion/fission, autophagy/mitophagy, and cell apoptosis vs. survival. More specifically, it will list the evidence on potential regulation of the above intracellular species and processes by the fluid shear stress acting on the endothelium under either physiological flow conditions or during reperfusion (following a period of ischemia). Understanding how the local hemodynamics affects mitochondrial physiology and the cell redox state may lead to development of novel therapeutic strategies for prevention or treatment of the endothelial dysfunction and, hence, of cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-496
Number of pages14
JournalCellular and Molecular Bioengineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Autophagy
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Ischemia/reperfusion
  • Mitochondrial fission
  • Mitophagy
  • Nitric oxide
  • Oxidative stress
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Modeling and Simulation


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