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Rev Neurol Dis. 2008;5 Suppl 1:S4-11.

Injuries to the vascular endothelium: vascular wall and endothelial dysfunction.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Anatomy, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA.

Abstract

Vascular endothelial injury has multiple elements, and this article focuses on ischemia-related processes that have particular relevance to ischemic stroke. Distinctions between necrotic and apoptotic cell death provide a basic science context in which to better understand the significance of classical core and penumbra concepts of acute stroke, with apoptotic processes particularly prominent in the penumbra. The mitochondria are understood to serve as a reservoir of proteins that mediate apoptosis. Oxidative stress pathways generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) are prominent in endothelial injury, both ischemic and nonischemic, with prominent roles of enzyme- and nonenzymemediated pathways; mitochondria once again have a critical role, particularly in the nonenzymatic pathways generating ROS. Inflammation also contributes to vascular endothelial injury, and endothelial cells have the capacity to rapidly increase expression of inflammatory mediators following ischemic challenge; this leads to enhanced leukocyte-endothelial interactions mediated by selectins and adhesion molecules. Preconditioning consists of a minor version of an injurious event, which in turn may protect vascular endothelium from injury following a more substantial event. Presence of the blood-brain barrier creates unique responses to endothelial injury, with permeability changes due to impairment of endothelial-matrix interactions compounding altered vasomotor tone and tissue perfusion mediated by nitric oxide. Pharmacological protection against vascular endothelial injury can be provided by several of the phosphodiesterases (cilostazol and dipyridamole), along with statins. Optimal clinical responses for protection of brain vascular endothelium may use preconditioning as a model, and will likely require combined protection against apoptosis, ROS, and inflammation.

PMID:
18645570
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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