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Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2001 May;3(3):225-33.

Plaque angiogenesis and atherosclerosis.

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Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Surgical Research, Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Enders 10, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Therapeutic angiogenesis trials refer to the stimulation of collateral arterioles and new vascular conduits to perfuse ischemic myocardium and limbs. Atherosclerotic lesions responsible for vascular occlusions themselves are associated with angiogenesis within the vessel wall. Plaque neovascularization is comprised of a network of capillaries that arise from the adventitial vasa vasorum and extend into the intimal layer of atherosclerotic lesions and other types of vascular injury. The functions of these plaque capillaries are proposed to be important regulators of plaque growth and lesion instability. The development of agents that are positive and negative regulators of angiogenesis may have potential therapeutic implications in the progression and acute manifestations of atherosclerosis. This review focuses on the role of plaque angiogenesis in atherosclerosis and discusses the potential therapeutic applications of angiogenesis inhibitors in this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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