Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 211–220 | Cite as

The influence of fluid shear stress on the remodeling of the embryonic primary capillary plexus

  • Jeffrey S. Blatnik
  • Geert W. Schmid-Schönbein
  • Lanping Amy Sung
Original paper


The primary capillary plexus in early yolk sacs is remodeled into matured vitelline vessels aligned in the direction of blood flow at the onset of cardiac contraction. We hypothesized that the influence of fluid shear stress on cellular behaviors may be an underlying mechanism by which some existing capillary channels remain open while others are closed during remodeling. Using a recently developed E-Tmod knock-out/lacZ knock-in mouse model, we showed that erythroblasts exhibited rheological properties similar to those of a viscous cell suspension. In contrast, the non-erythroblast (NE) cells, which attach among themselves within the yolk sac, are capable of lamellipodia extension and cell migration. Isolated NE cells in a parallel-plate flow chamber exposed to fluid shear stress, however, ceased lamellipodia extension. Such response may minimize NE cell migration into domains exposed to fluid shear stress. A two-dimensional mathematical model incorporating these cellular behaviors demonstrated that shear stress created by the blood flow initiated by the embryonic heart contraction might be needed for the remodeling of primary capillary plexus.


Angiogenesis Embryonic vascular development Fluid shear stress Microvascular growth Primary capillary plexus Vasculogenesis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey S. Blatnik
    • 1
  • Geert W. Schmid-Schönbein
    • 1
  • Lanping Amy Sung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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