Wall shear stress (WSS) plays a key role in altering intracellular pathways and gene expression of endothelial cells, and has significant impacts on atherosclerotic plaque development (1–3). Further, the atherogenic regulators Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) have significant impacts on the pathophysiology of many inflammatory diseases. This study investigates the effects of oscillatory shear directionality on pro-atherogenic gene expression (I-CAM, E-Selectin, and IL-6) in the presence of LTB4 and LPS. An orbital shaker was used to expose the endothelial cells to oscillatory shear in culture dishes, and Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was applied to quantify the shear stress on the bottom of the orbiting dish. Directionality of oscillatory shear was characterized by a newly developed hemodynamic parameter — Directional oscillatory shear index (DOSI), which was demonstrated in a previous study to significantly impact cell morphology (4). Results showed that DOSI significantly altered gene expression. Therefore, directionality of shear modulates atherosclerotic gene expression in vitro and thus, may influence the formation of atherosclerotic plaque in vivo.

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