Physiological Reviews

Flow-mediated endothelial mechanotransduction

P. F. Davies


Mechanical forces associated with blood flow play important roles in the acute control of vascular tone, the regulation of arterial structure and remodeling, and the localization of atherosclerotic lesions. Major regulation of the blood vessel responses occurs by the action of hemodynamic shear stresses on the endothelium. The transmission of hemodynamic forces throughout the endothelium and the mechanotransduction mechanisms that lead to biophysical, biochemical, and gene regulatory responses of endothelial cells to hemodynamic shear stresses are reviewed.