Arterial shear stress reduces Eph-B4 expression in adult human veins

Lynn S. Model, Michael R. Hall, Daniel J. Wong, Akihito Muto, Yuka Kondo, Kenneth R. Ziegler, Amanda Feigel, Alan Dardik, Clay Quint, Laura Niklason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Vein graft adaptation to the arterial environment is characterized by loss of venous identity, with reduced Ephrin type-B receptor 4 (Eph-B4) expression but without increased Ephrin-B2 expression. We examined changes of vessel identity of human saphenous veins in a flow circuit in which shear stress could be precisely controlled. Medium circulated at arterial or venous magnitudes of laminar shear stress for 24 hours; histologic, protein, and RNA analyses of vein segments were performed. Vein endothelium remained viable and functional, with platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM)-expressing cells on the luminal surface. Venous Eph-B4 expression diminished (p = .002), Ephrin-B2 expression was not induced (p = .268), and expression of osteopontin (p = .002) was increased with exposure to arterial magnitudes of shear stress. Similar changes were not found in veins placed under venous flow or static conditions. These data show that human saphenous veins remain viable during ex vivo application of shear stress in a bioreactor, without loss of the venous endothelium. Arterial magnitudes of shear stress cause loss of venous identity without gain of arterial identity in human veins perfused ex vivo. Shear stress alone, without immunologic or hormonal influence, is capable of inducing changes in vessel identity and, specifically, loss of venous identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-371
Number of pages13
JournalYale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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