Endothelial Cell Senescence Increases Traction Forces due to Age-Associated Changes in the Glycocalyx and SIRT1.


Journal Article

Endothelial cell (EC) aging and senescence are key events in atherogenesis and cardiovascular disease development. Age-associated changes in the local mechanical environment of blood vessels have also been linked to atherosclerosis. However, the extent to which cell senescence affects mechanical forces generated by the cell is unclear. In this study, we sought to determine whether EC senescence increases traction forces through age-associated changes in the glycocalyx and antioxidant regulator deacetylase Sirtuin1 (SIRT1), which is downregulated during aging. Traction forces were higher in cells that had undergone more population doublings and changes in traction force were associated with altered actin localization. Older cells also had increased actin filament thickness. Depletion of heparan sulfate in young ECs elevated traction forces and actin filament thickness, while addition of heparan sulfate to the surface of aged ECs by treatment with angiopoietin-1 had the opposite effect. While inhibition of SIRT1 had no significant effect on traction forces or actin organization for young cells, activation of SIRT1 did reduce traction forces and increase peripheral actin in aged ECs. These results show that EC senescence increases traction forces and alters actin localization through changes to SIRT1 and the glycocalyx.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cheung, TM; Yan, JB; Fu, JJ; Huang, J; Yuan, F; Truskey, GA

Published Date

  • March 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 63 - 75

PubMed ID

  • 25914755

Pubmed Central ID

  • 25914755

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1865-5033

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1865-5025

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s12195-014-0371-6


  • eng