The Wnt pathways in vascular disease: lessons from vascular development

A Tsaousi, CEJ Mill, SJ George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We aim to highlight the emerging evidence for the role of the Wnt signalling pathways in vascular disease and indicate how our current understanding is supported by observations of Wnt signalling in vascular development. RECENT FINDINGS: There is mounting direct and indirect evidence for an involvement of the Wnt pathways in multiple processes involved in atherogenesis. Although a systematic analysis of Wnt pathway in atherosclerosis has not been performed, it is apparent that altered expression of a handful of Wnt pathway proteins occurs in or regulates atherogenesis. Wnt pathways regulate endothelial dysfunction and vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation and migration and thereby intimal thickening. Furthermore, the Wnt pathways have the capacity to regulate inflammation and foam cell formation, pathological angiogenesis and calcification, which are crucial processes in plaque formation and stability. SUMMARY: A wealth of evidence has been presented for the involvement of the Wnt pathways in vascular development. Although less evidence exists for the regulation of vascular disease by the Wnt pathways, sufficient evidence exists to propose these pathways act as an important regulator of vascular disease. A greater understanding of Wnt pathways may reveal new therapeutic targets for vascular disease.
Translated title of the contributionThe Wnt pathways in vascular disease: lessons from vascular development
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350 - 357
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Lipidology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

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