Recent studies suggest that the temporal gradient of shear stress that is generated by blood flow plays an important role in the pathology of arteriosclerosis. We focused on the temporal gradient of shear stress and measured the permeability of albumin under steady or pulsatile shear stress conditions. Porcine aortic endothelial cells were seeded on a membrane filter and subjected to steady or pulsatile shear stress (1 Hz) at 1 Pa for 48 h, and the permeability of albumin was measured over time. The permeability increased gradually under steady flow but increased acutely under pulsatile shear stress. In particular, the maximum permeability of albumin differed under these conditions. The value was 4. 2 × 10-5 cm/s at 18 h under pulsatile shear stress and 2. 8 × 10-5 cm/s at 48 h under steady shear stress. The permeable route of albumin was examined using isoproterenol, which decreases junctional permeability. The increase in albumin permeability with pulsatile shear stress was decreased by isoproterenol. These results suggest that the increased permeability of albumin with pulsatile shear stress was related to trafficking through paracellular junctions. Thus, pulsation may promote a mechanotransduction process that differs from that of steady shear stress, and these pulsation effects likely play an important role in the permeability of macromolecules.
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