The intracellular calcium dynamics in a single vascular endothelial cell being squeezed through a narrow microfluidic channel

Abstract

Revealing the mechanisms underlying the intracellular calcium responses in vascular endothelial cells (VECs) induced by mechanical stimuli contributes to a better understanding for vascular diseases, including hypertension, atherosclerosis, and aneurysm. Combining with experimental measurement and Computational Fluid Dynamics simulation, we developed a mechanobiological model to investigate the intracellular [Ca2+] response in a single VEC being squeezed through narrow microfluidic channel. The time-dependent cellular surface tension dynamics was quantified throughout the squeezing process. In our model, the various Ca2+ signaling pathways activated by mechanical stimulation is fully considered. The simulation results of our model exhibited well agreement with our experimental results. By using the model, we theoretically explored the mechanism of the two-peak intracellular [Ca2+] response in single VEC being squeezed through narrow channel and made some testable predictions for guiding experiment in the future.

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Acknowledgements

The research described in this paper was, in part, supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11672065, 31371243) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities in China (Grant No. DUT19ZD201).

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Correspondence to Chun-Dong Xue or Kai-Rong Qin.

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Yuan, WM., Xue, CD. & Qin, KR. The intracellular calcium dynamics in a single vascular endothelial cell being squeezed through a narrow microfluidic channel. Biomech Model Mechanobiol 20, 55–67 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10237-020-01368-7

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Keywords

  • Vascular endothelial cells
  • Intracellular calcium response
  • Microfluidic experiment
  • Single cell dynamics
  • Mechanobiology model
  • Cellular surface tension