Early angiogenic response to shock waves in a three-dimensional model of human microvascular endothelial cell culture (HMEC-1)

Valerio Sansone, M. C. D'Agostino, C. Bonora, F. Sizzano, L. De Girolamo, P. Romeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The exact nature of shock wave (SW) action is not, as yet, fully understood, although a possible hypothesis may be that shock waves induce neoangiogenesis. To test this hypothesis, a three-dimensional (3D) culture model on Matrigel was developed employing a human microvascular endothelial cell line (HMEC-1) which was stimulated with low energy soft- focused SW generated by an SW lithotripter. After 12 hours we observed a statistically significant increase in capillary connections subsequent to shock-wave treatment in respect to the control group and a marked 3-hour down-regulation in genes involved in the apoptotic processes (BAX, BCL2LI, GADD45A, PRKCA), in cell cycle (CDKN2C, CEBPB, HK2, IRF1, PRKCA), oncogenes (JUN, WNT1), cell adhesion (ICAM-1), and proteolytic systems (CTSD, KLK2, MMP10). Our preliminary results indicate that microvascular endothelial cells in vitro quickly respond to SW, proliferating and forming vessel-like structures, depending on the energy level employed and the number of shocks released. The early decreased expression in the analysed genes could be interpreted as the "first reactive response" of the endothelial cells to the external stimuli and the prelude to the events characterizing the neo-angiogenic sequence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012



  • Endothelial cells
  • Neo-angiogenesis
  • Shock waves
  • Three dimensional cultures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Cancer Research

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