Cell Biology and Toxicology

, Volume 12, Issue 4–6, pp 199–205 | Cite as

Endothelial cells in culture: An experimental model for the study of vascular dysfunctions

  • O. Chappey
  • M. P. Wautier
  • B. Boval
  • J. L. Wautier
Plenary lectures Endothelial and smooth muscle cells


Culture of endothelial cells started two decades ago and is now a useful tool in understanding endothelial physiology and the study of the interaction of endothelial cells with blood cells and various mediators. In vitro proliferation can be measured by [3H]thymidine incorporation in defined conditions and gives reproducible results. Endothelial cells can be activated by several stimuli, including cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1. Part of endothelial cell activation is defined by expression or overexpression of leukocyte adhesion molecules. Intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM), E-selectin And vascular adhesion molecule (VCAM) are receptor molecules for leukocyte adhesion. Leukocyte adhesion to endothelium can be measured in static but also rn rheologically defined flow conditions. Normal red blood cells (RBCs) do not adhere to endothelium, while RBC from patients with sickle cell anemia, diabetes mellitus, and malaria have an increased adhesion to endothelium which is mediated by specific VCAM, receptor for advanced glycated end-products (RAGE), and ICAM, respectively. Binding of blood cells or activation by cytokine is followed by a series of reactions in endothelial cells associated with the modulation of prostacyclin, nitric oxide, tissue factor, and cytokine production. Modification of endothelial cell functions in culture is correlated to in vivo alteration of vascular wall properties, further supporting these cells in culture as a relevant experimental model.


Nitric Oxide Endothelial Cell Malaria Sickle Cell Anemia Prostacyclin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



advanced glycated end-products


intracellular adhesion molecule






monocyte-derived endothelial cell inhibitory factor


nitric oxide


platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1


receptor for advanced glycated end-products


red blood cells


tumor necrosis factor-α


vascular adhesion molecule


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Chappey
    • 1
  • M. P. Wautier
    • 1
  • B. Boval
    • 1
  • J. L. Wautier
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Biologie Vasculaire et CellulaireHôpital LariboisiéreParisFrance

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