Shear stress influences spatial variations in vascular Mn-SOD expression: Implication for LDL nitration

Lisong Ai, Mahsa Rouhanizadeh, Joseph C. Wu, Wakako Takabe, Hongyu Yu, Mohammad Alavi, Rongsong Li, Yi Chu, Jordan Miller, Donald D. Heistad, Tzung K. Hsiai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Fluid shear stress modulates vascular production of endothelial superoxide anion (O2.-) and nitric oxide (.NO). Whether the characteristics of shear stress influence the spatial variations in mitochondrial manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) expression in vasculatures is not well defined. We constructed a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model simulating spatial variations in shear stress at the arterial bifurcation. In parallel, explants of arterial bifurcations were sectioned from the human left main coronary bifurcation and right coronary arteries for immunohistolocalization of Mn-SOD expression. We demonstrated that Mn-SOD staining was prominent in the pulsatile shear stress (PSS)-exposed and atheroprotective regions, but it was nearly absent in the oscillatory shear stress (OSS)-exposed regions and lateral wall of arterial bifurcation. In cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells, PSS at mean shear stress (τave) of 23 dyn/cm2 upregulated Mn-SOD mRNA expression at a higher level than did OSS at τave = 0.02 dyn/cm2 ± 3.0 dyn·cm-2·s-1 and at 1 Hz (PSS by 11.3 ± 0.4-fold vs. OSS by 5.0 ± 0.5-fold vs. static condition; P < 0.05, n = 4). By liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry, it was found that PSS decreased the extent of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) nitration, whereas OSS increased nitration (P < 0.05, n = 4). In the presence of LDL, treatment with Mn-SOD small interfering RNA increased intracellular nitrotyrosine level (P < 0.5, n = 4), a fingerprint for nitrotyrosine formation. Our findings indicate that shear stress in the atheroprone versus atheroprotective regions regulates spatial variations in mitochondrial Mn-SOD expression with an implication for modulating LDL nitration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1576-C1585
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Low-density lipoprotein
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitrotyrosine
  • Superoxide anion
  • Superoxide dismutase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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