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Int J Cardiovasc Intervent. 2001 Mar;4(1):3-6.

Anti-angiogenesis: A new potential strategy to inhibit restenosis.

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Cardiovascular Research Institute, The Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC.


Microvessels are an integral component of the neointima developing in response to the acute vascular injury resulting from angioplasty. These vessels originate from the vasa vasorum of the adventitia, and as such appear similar to the microvessels present in atherosclerotic plaques. Several angiogenic factors have been found in atherosclerotic plaques and have been associated with increased microvascularity. In addition, most of these agents - either directly or indirectly - also induce smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation, an essential component of the developing neointima. We therefore propose: (1) these newly formed blood vessels are necessary for the development, maintenance, and expansion of the neointimal lesions present in restenosis; (2) the initiation, regulation and maintenance of these vessels is, at least in part, due to the coordinate sequential expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), and/or other angiogenic factors such as the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family of proteins; (3) targeted disruption of the signal transduction pathways modulated by these molecules may reduce vasa vasorum expansion and SMC proliferation. These effects, in turn, may inhibit neointimal expansion and thus the development of restenosis, especially following stenting.


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