Spatial phenotyping of the endocardial endothelium as a function of intracardiac hemodynamic shear stress

Margaret E. McCormick*, Elisabetta Manduchi, Walter R.T. Witschey, Robert C. Gorman, Joseph H. Gorman, Yi Zhou Jiang, Christian J. Stoeckert, Alex J. Barker, Samuel Yoon, Michael Markl, Peter F. Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Despite substantial evidence for the central role of hemodynamic shear stress in the functional integrity of vascular endothelial cells, hemodynamic and molecular regulation of the endocardial endothelium lining the heart chambers remains understudied. We propose that regional differences in intracardiac hemodynamics influence differential endocardial gene expression leading to phenotypic heterogeneity of this cell layer. Measurement of intracardiac hemodynamics was performed using 4-dimensional flow MRI in healthy humans (n=8) and pigs (n=5). Local wall shear stress (WSS) and oscillatory shear indices (OSI) were calculated in three distinct regions of the LV – base, mid-ventricle (midV), and apex. In both the humans and pigs, WSS values were significantly lower in the apex and midV relative to the base. Additionally, both the apex and midV had greater oscillatory shear indices (OSI) than the base. To investigate regional phenotype, endocardial endothelial cells (EEC) were isolated from an additional 8 pigs and RNA sequencing was performed. A false discovery rate of 0.10 identified 1051 differentially expressed genes between the base and apex, and 321 between base and midV. Pathway analyses revealed apical upregulation of genes associated with translation initiation. Furthermore, tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI; mean 50-fold) and prostacyclin synthase (PTGIS; 5-fold), genes prominently associated with antithrombotic protection, were consistently upregulated in LV apex. These spatio-temporal WSS values in defined regions of the left ventricle link local hemodynamics to regional heterogeneity in endocardial gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
StatePublished - Jan 4 2017


  • 4D Flow MRI
  • Endocardial endothelium
  • Heart
  • RNA sequencing
  • Shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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