Mechanical strain induces a persistent upregulation of syndecan-1 expression in smooth muscle cells

Matheau A. Julien, Carolyn A. Haller, Peiyi Wang, Jing Wen, Elliot L. Chaikof*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Syndecan-1 belongs to a family of transmembrane proteoglycans, acts as a coreceptor for growth factor binding, as well as cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions, and is induced in smooth muscle cells (SMCs) following balloon catheter injury. In this report, we investigated syndecan-1 expression in SMCs in response to several distinct biomechanical force profiles and the related syndecan shedding response. Syndecan-1 mRNA expression increased in response to 5% and 10% cyclic strain (24 h: 206 ± 40% and 278 ± 33%, respectively, P < 0.05) when compared to unstrained controls. When subjected to 10% cyclic strain for periods of up to 48 h, syndecan-1 mRNA levels remained elevated at 294 ± 31%. Notably, the SMC mechanosensor mechanism remained responsive after an initial 24 h "preconditioning" period, as evident by a fivefold increase in syndecan-1 gene expression following a change in cyclic stress from 10% to 20% (48 h: 516 ± 55%, P < 0.05). Of note, similar behavior was not observed in an analysis of syndecan-2 mRNA levels. Commensurate with mRNA responses, mechanical stress induced an increase in cell-associated syndecan-1 protein levels with an associated increase in protein shedding. Given the varied functions of syndecan-1, stress-induced effects on SMC syndecan-1 expression and shedding may represent an additional component of the pro-inflammatory, growth-stimulating pathways that are activated in response to changes in the mechanical microenvironment of the vascular wall. Syndecan-1 expression is uniquely influenced by changes in the phase and magnitude of the local stress field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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