Actin filament stress fibers in vascular endothelial cells in vivo

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Science  18 Feb 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4586, pp. 867-869
DOI: 10.1126/science.6681677


Fluorescence microscopy with 7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-3-diazole phallacidin was used to survey vertebrate tissues for actin filament bundles comparable to the stress fibers of cultured cells. Such bundles were found only in vascular endothelial cells. Like the stress fibers of cultured cells, these actin filament bundles were stained in a punctate pattern by fluorescent antibodies to both alpha-actinin and myosin. The stress fibers were oriented parallel to the direction of blood flow and were prominent in endothelial cells from regions exposed to high-velocity flow, such as the left ventricle, aortic valve, and aorta. Actin bundles may help the endothelial cell to withstand hemodynamic stress.