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Curr Pharm Des. 1998 Dec;4(6):481-8.

Is ceramide signaling a target for vascular therapeutic intervention?

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. dgjohns@umich.edu


Today's society is plagued by cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and atherosclerosis. Research devoted to the study of these diseases has focused, in part, on physiological phenomena responsible for the development and progression of the disease. Peripheral vascular function is one such focal point of research, and identification of cellular mechanisms that regulate vascular contractility and/or cellular proliferation is crucial for the development of new therapeutic interventions to combat these diseases. This review evaluates a new signaling mechanism, the ceramide signaling pathway as a potential target for therapeutic intervention. Special attention is given ceramide signaling in the contexts of vascular reactivity and cell proliferation in the vasculature. While ceramide signaling is a nascent area of vascular research, a growing body of evidence from other physiological systems implicates this new pathway as a potential regulator of contractile and cell proliferative functions within the blood vessel wall.

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