Pressure-induced maturation of endothelial cells on newborn mouse carotid arteries

Sheila Flavahan, Mansoor M. Mozayan, Isa Lindgren, Nicholas A. Flavahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Experiments investigated maturation of endothelial function in the postnatal period. Carotid arteries isolated from newborn (postnatal day 1, P1) to P21 mice were assessed in myographs at transmural pressure (PTM) of 20 mmHg (P1 blood pressure, BP). Acetylcholine was ineffective in P1 but powerfully dilated P7 arteries, whereas NO-donor DEA-NONOate caused similar dilation at P1 and P7. Dilation to acetylcholine at P7 was abolished by inhibition of NO synthase (NOS) (L-NAME) or of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) (wortmannin, LY294002). Endothelial NOS (eNOS) expression decreased in P7 compared with P1 arteries, although acetylcholine increased PO4-eNOS-Ser1177 in P7 but not in P1 arteries. Endothelial maturation may therefore reflect increased signaling through PI3K, Akt, and eNOS. Systemic BP increases dramatically in the early postnatal period. After exposing P1 arteries to transient increased PTM (50 mmHg, 60 min), acetylcholine caused powerful dilation and increased PO4-eNOS-Ser1177. Pressure-induced rescue of acetylcholine dilation was abolished by PI3K or NOS inhibition. Transient increased PTM did not affect dilation at P7, or dilation to NO-donor in P1 arteries. Width of endothelial adherens junctions (VE-cadherin immunofluorescence) increased significantly from P1 to P7, and in P1 arteries exposed to transient increased PTM. A function-blocking antibody to VE-cadherin reduced the pressure-induced rescue of acetylcholine responses at P1, and the dilation to acetylcholine in P7 arteries. Therefore, maturation of newborn endothelium dilator function may be induced by increasing BP in the postnatal period. Furthermore, this may be mediated by VE-cadherin signaling at adherens junctions. Interruption of this maturation pathway may contribute to developmental and adult vascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H321-H329
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013


  • Arterial blood pressure
  • Developmental biology
  • Endothelium-dependent dilation
  • Mechanotransduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Pressure-induced maturation of endothelial cells on newborn mouse carotid arteries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this