Although traditionally linked to the physiology of tissues in 'motion', the ability of the cells to transduce external forces into coordinated gene expression programs is emerging as an integral component of the fundamental structural organization of multicellular organisms with consequences for cell differentiation even from the beginning of embryonic development.
The ability of the cells to 'feel' the surrounding mechanical environment, even in the absence of tissue motion, is then translated into 'positional' or 'social' sensing that instructs, before the organ renewal, the correct patterning of the embryos.
In the present review, the Authors highlight how these basic concepts, emerging from the employment of novel cell engineering tools, can be linked to pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system, and may contribute to understanding the molecular bases of some of the major cardiovascular diseases like heart failure, heart valve stenosis and failure of the venous aorto-coronary bypass.
- Pesce M, Santoro R. Feeling the right force: How to contextualize the cell mechanical behavior in physiologic turnover and pathologic evolution of the cardiovascular system. Pharmacol Ther 2016 Aug 7. [Epub ahead of print]