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Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2003 Jul;13(5):176-81.

New insights into elastin and vascular disease.

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  • 1Program in Human Molecular Biology and Genetics, Department of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5330, USA.


Elastin is synthesized and secreted by vascular smooth muscle cells and is the major extracellular matrix component deposited in the arterial wall. When last reviewed by this journal in 1994, the link between elastin and a rare occlusive vascular disease had just been established. Since that time, it has become increasingly clear that elastin is a critical autocrine factor that maintains vascular homeostasis through a combination of biomechanical support and biologic signaling. This review examines the complexity of elastin-smooth muscle cell interactions, and how new insights may impact understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of vascular disease.

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