Mechanical forces alter growth factor release by pleural mesothelial cells

Christopher M. Waters*, Julie Y. Chang, Matthew R. Glucksberg, Natacha DePaola, James B. Grotberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The mesothelial cells that form the visceral pleura of the lung are subjected to physical forces such as stretch due to lung expansion and fluid shear stress due to the sliding motion of the lung against the chest wall. In this study, the effect of mechanical forces on the production of growth factors by mesothelial cells was investigated. Rat visceral pleura mesothelial (RVPM) cells were exposed to fluid shear stress by perfusing a column of cell-covered beads. RVPM cells grown on a silicone elastomer were subjected to cyclic strain by applying an oscillating vacuum to the bottom of the wells using the Flexercell apparatus. Fluid shear stress (5.2-15.7 dyn/cm2) stimulated the release of endothelin-1 (ET-1) by RVPM cells two- to fivefold over static cells. ET-1 secretion by RVPM cells was also stimulated approximately twofold by cyclic stretch (20% maximum strain, 30 cycles/min). RVPM cells released significant levels of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), but there was no effect of either shear stress or cyclic strain on PDGF release. These results suggest that the production of growth factors by pleural mesothelial cells is regulated in part by physical forces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L552-L557
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number3 16-3
StatePublished - Mar 1997


  • cyclic strain
  • endothelin-1
  • platelet-derived growth factor
  • shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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