Signalling pathways in vascular endothelium activated by shear stress: relevance to atherosclerosis

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Major advances in our understanding of how endothelial cells sense and respond to haemodynamic forces and, more specifically, to fluid shear stress have been achieved during the past 3 years. These include definition of potential shear stress receptors and multiple signalling pathways that mediate shear stress regulation of gene expression. A few studies have also pointed to the unique effects of complex shear stress on endothelial activation, thus leading to better understanding of the mechanisms that lead to the development of atherosclerosis.

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