Mechanotransduction of mesenchymal stem cells and hemodynamic implications

Ting Wei Kao, Yi Shiuan Liu, Chih Yu Yang, Oscar Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess the capacity for self-renewal and multipotency. The traditional approach to manipulating MSC's fate choice predominantly relies on biochemical stimulation. Accumulating evidence also suggests the role of physical input in MSCs differentiation. Therefore, investigating mechanotransduction at the molecular level and related to tissue-specific cell functions sheds light on the responses secondary to mechanical forces. In this review, a new frontier aiming to optimize the cultural parameters was illustrated, i.e. spatial boundary condition, which recapitulates in vivo physiology and facilitates the investigations of cellular behavior. The concept of mechanical memory was additionally addressed to appreciate how MSCs store imprints from previous culture niches. Besides, different types of forces as physical stimuli were of interest based on the association with the respective signaling pathways and the differentiation outcome. The downstream mechanoreceptors and their corresponding effects were further pinpointed. The cardiovascular system or immune system may share similar mechanisms of mechanosensing and mechanotransduction; for example, resident stem cells in a vascular wall and recruited MSCs in the bloodstream experience mechanical forces such as stretch and fluid shear stress. In addition, baroreceptors or mechanosensors of endothelial cells detect changes in blood flow, pass over signals induced by mechanical stimuli and eventually maintain arterial pressure at the physiological level. These mechanosensitive receptors transduce pressure variation and regulate endothelial barrier functions. The exact signal transduction is considered context dependent but still elusive. In this review, we summarized the current evidence of how mechanical stimuli impact MSCs commitment and the underlying mechanisms. Future perspectives are anticipated to focus on the application of cardiovascular bioengineering and regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalChinese Journal of Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Hemodynamics
  • mechanical memory
  • mechanotransduction
  • mesenchymal stem cell
  • spatial boundary condition


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