Emerging regulators of vascular smooth muscle cell function in the development and progression of atherosclerosis

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Abstract

After a period of relative senescence in the field of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) research with particular regards to atherosclerosis, the last few years has witnessed a resurgence, with extensive research re-assessing potential molecular mechanisms and pathways that modulate VSMC behaviour within the atherosclerotic-prone vessel wall and the atherosclerotic plaque itself. Attention has focussed on the pathological contribution of VSMC in plaque calcification; systemic and local mediators such as inflammatory molecules and lipoproteins; autocrine and paracrine regulators which affect cell-cell and cell to matrix contacts alongside cytoskeletal changes. In this brief focused review I will discuss recent insights that have been gained into how a myriad of recently identified factors can influence the pathological behaviour of VSMC and their subsequent contribution to atherosclerotic plaque development and progression. An overriding theme is the mechanisms involved in the alterations of VSMC function during atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCardiovascular Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2014. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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