AbstractPolymers are often contaminated with lipopolysaccharides also known as endotoxins. Even small amounts of endotoxins can have strong effects on endothelial cell function so that the endothelialisation of cardiovascular implants might be hampered. An open question is how endothelial cells seeded on a body foreign substrate respond to shear load after adding Lipid A (LPA), the domain, which is responsible for much of the toxicity of gram-negative bacteria, and whether morphological changes of endothelial cells occur.
LPA supplementation to the culture medium in increasing concentrations (5, 25 and 50μg/ml) resulted in progressive reductions of the density of adherent HUVEC after shear load (p < 0.001). 48% of the HUVEC in control cultures (0μg/ml LPA) were still adherent after 2 hours of shearing at 6 dyne/cm2, while 80 minutes after addition of 50μg/ml LPA, 88% of the HUVEC had already detached from the substrate and after 100 minutes no more HUVEC were attached.
The results demonstrate that endotoxins are of extreme importance for the behavior of HUVEC and that in vivo pathologies can be increasingly simulated in vitro.