European Biophysics Journal

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 13–25 | Cite as

Roles of mechanical force and CXCR1/CXCR2 in shear-stress-induced endothelial cell migration

  • Ye Zeng
  • Yang Shen
  • Xian-Liang Huang
  • Xiao-Jing Liu
  • Xiao-Heng LiuEmail author
Original Paper


We previously demonstrated that CXCR1 and CXCR2 are novel mechanosensors mediating laminar shear-stress-induced endothelial cell (EC) migration (Zeng et al. in Cytokine 53:42–51, 2011). In the present study, an analytical model was proposed to further analyze the underlying mechanisms, assuming the mechanical force (MF) and mechanosensor-mediated biochemical reactions induce cell migration together. Shear stress can regulate both mechanosensor-mediated migration in the flow direction (Ms–MFD) and mechanosensor-mediated migration toward a wound (Ms–MW). Next, the migration distance, the roles of MF-induced cell migration (MF–M), and the mobilization mechanisms of mechanosensors were analyzed. The results demonstrated that MF–M plays an important role in 15.27 dyn/cm2 shear-stress-induced EC migration but is far weaker than Ms–MW at 5.56 dyn/cm2. Our findings also indicated that CXCR2 played a primary role, in synergy with CXCR1. The Ms–MFD was primarily mediated by the synergistic effect of CXCR1 and CXCR2. In Ms–MW, when shear stress was beyond a certain threshold, the synergistic effect of CXCR1 and CXCR2 was enhanced, and the effect of CXCR1 was inhibited. Therefore, the retarding of EC migration and wound closure capacity under low shear flow was related to the low magnitude of shear stress, which may contribute to atherogenesis and many other vascular diseases.


HUVEC Hemodynamic force Mechanosensor Synergistic effect Wound progress Angiogenesis 



Mechanical force


MF-induced cell migration


Mechanosensor-mediated biochemical reactions


Mechanosensor-mediated migration in the flow direction


Mechanosensor-mediated migration toward wound


The migration distance at the metering point n (h)


The cell position at the metering point n (h)


The original cell position


The net migration distance of cells from the upriver edge of wound


The net migration distance from the downriver edge of wound


The migration distance induced by MF

\( D_{{{\text{Ms--M}}_{{\text{FD}}} }}\)

The migration distance of Ms–MFD

\( D_{{{\text{Ms}}{\hbox{-}}{\text{M}}_{\text{W}} }} \)

The migration distance of Ms–MW


Relative strength index


The ratio of D MF–M and \( D_{{{\text{Ms}}{\hbox{-}}{\text{M}}_{\text{W}} }} \)

\( {\text{RSI}}_{{{\text{Ms}}{\hbox{-}}{\text{M}}_{\text{FD}} }} \)

The ratio of \( D_{{{\text{Ms}}{\hbox{-}}{\text{M}}_{\text{FD}} }} \) and \( D_{{{\text{Ms}}{\hbox{-}}{\text{M}}_{\text{W}} }} \)

\( D_{\text{CXCR1}}^{*} \)

The migration distance mediated by CXCR1 alone (in Ms–MFD)

\( D_{\text{CXCR2}}^{*} \)

The migration distance mediated by CXCR2 alone (in Ms–MFD)

\( D_{\text{CXCR1/2}}^{*} \)

The migration distance mediated by the synergistic effect of CXCR1 and CXCR2 (in Ms–MFD)


The migration distance mediated by CXCR1 alone (in Ms–MW)


The migration distance mediated by CXCR2 alone (in Ms–MW)


The migration distance mediated by the synergistic effect of CXCR1 and CXCR2 (in Ms–MW)


The migration distance mediated by other receptors (in Ms–MW)

\( C_{\text{CXCR1}}^{*} \)

The distance ratio of CXCR1 to Ms–MFD

\( C_{\text{CXCR2}}^{*} \)

The distance ratio of CXCR2 to Ms–MFD

\( C_{\text{CXCR1/2}}^{*} \)

The distance ratio of the synergistic effect of CXCR1 and CXCR2 to Ms–MFD


The distance ratio of CXCR1 to Ms–MW


The distance ratio of CXCR2 to Ms–MW


The distance ratio of the synergistic effect of CXCR1 and CXCR2 to Ms–MW


The distance ratio of other receptors to Ms–MW



This study was supported in part by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 11172189, 10772127, 10972148), Sichuan Youth Science & Technology Foundation (No. 06ZQ026-009), Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University of China (No. NCET-06-0791), and China Medical Board (No. 82-412).


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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ye Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yang Shen
    • 2
  • Xian-Liang Huang
    • 2
  • Xiao-Jing Liu
    • 1
  • Xiao-Heng Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Cardiovascular Diseases, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Biomedical Engineering, West China School of Preclinical and Forensic MedicineSichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China

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