Mechanoregulation of endothelial permeability

Mechanical forces drive deformation of endothelial cells, opening or closing transendothelial channels that represent pathways for fluid and macromolecular transport across endothelial barriers.

In the eye, Schlemm’s canal endothelium is exquisitely sensitive to mechanical force that drives the formation of transendothelial pores and giant vacuoles involved in the regulation of intraocular pressure.

Our laboratory has developed methods to visualise endothelial deformation under conditions that mimic the biomechanical environment in the eye, ultimately to better understand the cellular basis for intraocular pressure dysfunction in glaucoma.

A model of giant vacuole dynamics in human Schlemm’s canal endothelial cells. Pedrigi et al. 2010 Exp. Eye Research.