Hyperglycemic arterial disturbed flow niche as an in vitro model of atherosclerosis

Academic Article


  • Type 2 diabetes significantly elevates the risk of cardiovascular disease. This can be largely attributed to the adverse effects of hyperglycemic conditions on normal endothelial cell (EC) function. ECs in both large and small vessels are influenced by hyperglycemic conditions, which increase susceptibility to EC dysfunction and atherosclerotic lesion formation. Fluid shear stress and flow patterns play an essential role in atherogenesis: lesions form only at locations where fluid flow behavior can be classified as "disturbed flow" (i.e., low shear stress recirculation and/or retrograde flow). Since regions of disturbed flow are the focal points of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, we hypothesized that the combinatorial effects of high glucose and disturbed flow conditions elicit significantly different responses from ECs than high glucose alone. To validate our hypothesis, we used our endothelial cell culture model (ECCM) to establish vascular niches associated with "normal" and "disturbed" flow conditions typically seen in vivo along with physiological pressure and stretch. We subjected human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) to hyperglycemic conditions under both "normal" and "disturbed" flow. Our results confirm significant and quantifiable differences in phenotypic and functional markers between cells cultured under conditions of "normal" and "disturbed flow" under hyperglycemic conditions suggesting that elevated glucose in conjunction with "disturbed" flow conditions results in significantly higher level of EC dysfunction. The ECCM can therefore be used as a physiologically relevant model to study early stage hyperglycemia induced atherosclerosis for basic research, drug discovery, and screening and toxicity studies.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Patibandla PK; Rogers AJ; Giridharan GA; Pallero MA; Murphy-Ullrich JE; Sethu P
  • Start Page

  • 10948
  • End Page

  • 10954
  • Volume

  • 86
  • Issue

  • 21