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Endothelial cellular stiffening has been observed not only in inflamed cultured endothelial cells but also in the endothelium of atherosclerotic regions, which is an underlying cause of monocyte adhesion and accumulation. Although recombinant soluble thrombomodulin (rsTM) has been reported to suppress the inflammatory response of endothelial cells, its role in regulating endothelial cellular stiffness remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of anticoagulant rsTM on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced endothelial cellular stiffening. We show that LPS increases endothelial cellular stiffness by using atomic force microscopy and that rsTM reduces LPS-induced cellular stiffening not only through the attenuation of actin fiber and focal adhesion formation but also via the improvement of gap junction functionality. Moreover, post-administration of rsTM, after LPS stimulation, attenuated LPS-induced cellular stiffening. We also found that endothelial cells regulate leukocyte adhesion in a substrate- and cellular stiffness-dependent manner. Our result show that LPS-induced cellular stiffening enhances monocytic THP-1 cell line adhesion, whereas rsTM suppresses THP-1 cell adhesion to inflamed endothelial cells by reducing cellular stiffness. Endothelial cells increase cellular stiffness in reaction to inflammation, thereby promoting monocyte adhesion. Treatment of rsTM reduced LPS-induced cellular stiffening and suppressed monocyte adhesion in a cellular stiffness-dependent manner.


Takayuki Okamoto, Eiji Kawamoto, Haruki Usuda, Tetsuya Tanaka, Tetsuro Nikai, Kunihiro Asanuma, Koji Suzuki, Motomu Shimaoka, Koichiro Wada. Recombinant Human Soluble Thrombomodulin Suppresses Monocyte Adhesion by Reducing Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Endothelial Cellular Stiffening. Cells. 2020 Jul 30;9(8)

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PMID: 32751580

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