Hemodynamic shear stresses in mouse aortas: implications for atherogenesis

Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Jin SuoDon P Giddens


The hemodynamic environment is a determinant of susceptibility to atherosclerosis in the vasculature. Although mouse models are commonly used in atherosclerosis studies, little is known about local variations in wall shear stress (WSS) in the mouse and whether the levels of WSS are comparable to those in humans. The objective of this study was to determine WSS values in the mouse aorta and to relate these to expression of gene products associated with atherosclerosis. Using micro-CT and ultrasound methodologies we developed a computational fluid dynamics model of the mouse aorta and found values of WSS to be much larger than those for humans. We also used a quantum dot-based approach to study vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression on the aortic intima and demonstrated that increased expression for these molecules occurs where WSS was relatively low for the mouse. Despite large differences in WSS in the two species, the spatial distributions of atherogenic molecules in the mouse aorta are similar to atherosclerotic plaque localization found in human aortas. These results suggest that relative differences in WSS or in the direction of WSS, as opposed to the absolute magnitude, may be re...Continue Reading


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