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Cardiovasc Res. 2000 Feb;45(3):747-55.

The regulation of vascular smooth muscle cell apoptosis.

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Unit of Cardiovascular Medicine, Addenbrooke's Centre for Clinical Investigation, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.


Apoptosis describes the morphological changes that identify a specific form of regulated cell death. Over recent years, the importance of either aberrant onset or suppression of apoptosis within tissues has become apparent and is associated with the development of several terminal diseases. Here we describe the relevance of apoptosis to the maintenance of vascular homeostasis. Specifically, we address the role of vascular smooth muscle cell death, how this may be regulated at the molecular level and whether any of these molecular mediators will provide targets for intervention in diseases such as atherosclerosis.

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