Abrupt reflow enhances cytokine-induced proinflammatory activation of endothelial cells during simulated shock and resuscitation

Ranran Li, Jan G. Zijlstra, Jan A. A. M. Kamps, Matijs van Meurs, Grietje Molema*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Circulatory shock and resuscitation are associated with systemic hemodynamic changes, which may contribute to the development of MODS (multiple organ dysfunction syndrome). In this study, we used an in vitro flow system to simulate the consecutive changes in blood flow as occurring during hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation in vivo. We examined the kinetic responses of different endothelial genes in human umbilical vein endothelial cells preconditioned to 20 dyne/cm unidirectional laminar shear stress for 48 h to flow cessation and abrupt reflow, respectively, as well as the effect of flow cessation and reflow on tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced endothelial proinflammatory activation. Endothelial CD31 and VE-cadherin were not affected by the changes in flow in the absence or presence of TNF-α. The messenger RNA levels of proinflammatory molecules E-selectin, VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule 1), and IL-8 (interleukin 8) were significantly induced by flow cessation respectively acute reflow, whereas ICAM-1 (intercellular adhesion molecule 1) was downregulated on flow cessation and induced by subsequent acute reflow. Flow cessation also affected the Ang/Tie2 (Angiopoietin/Tie2 receptor tyrosine kinase) system by downregulating Tie2 and inducing its endothelial ligand Ang2, an effect that was further extended on acute reflow. Furthermore, the induction of proinflammatory adhesion molecules by TNF-α under flow cessation was significantly enhanced on subsequent acute reflow. This study demonstrated that flow alterations per se during shock and resuscitation contribute to endothelial activation and that these alterations interact with proinflammatory factors coexisting in vivo such as TNF-α. The abrupt reflow-related enhancement of cytokine-induced endothelial proinflammatory activation supports the concept that sudden regain of flow during resuscitation has an aggravating effect on endothelial activation, which may play a significant role in vascular dysfunction and consequent organ injury. This study implies that the improvement of resuscitation strategies and the pharmacological interference with proinflammatory signaling cascades at the right time of resuscitation of shock patients may be beneficial to regain and/or maintain organ function in patients after circulatory shock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-364
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2014


  • Microcirculatory hypoperfusion
  • hemorrhagic shock
  • endothelial cells
  • laminar shear stress
  • flow cessation
  • reflow
  • proinflammatory activation
  • FLOW
  • TIE2

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