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Reactive oxygen species in vascular wall.

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Department of Physiology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR, China.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) contribute to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, atherosclerosis, cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure and diabetes mellitus. Oxidative stress is resulted from excessive generation of ROS that outstrips the antioxidant system. Various agonists, pathological conditions and therapeutic interventions lead to modulated expression and function of oxidant and antioxidant enzymes, including NAD(P)H oxidase, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, xanthine oxidase, myeloperoxidase, superoxide dismutases, catalase and glutathione peroxidase. ROS formed in vascular wall target a wide range of signaling molecules and cellular pathways in both endothelium and vascular smooth muscle, such as transcription factors, protein tyrosine phosphatase, protein tyrosine kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase, Ca(2+)-transporting system and protein modification. ROS also have distinct physiological and pathophysiological impacts on vascular cells. ROS contribute to vascular dysfunction and remodeling through oxidative damage by (1) reducing the bioavailability of NO, (2) impairing endothelium-dependent vasodilatation and endothelial cell growth, (3) causing apoptosis or anoikis, (4) stimulating endothelial cell migration, and (5) activating adhesion molecules and inflammatory reaction, leading to endothelial dysfunction, an initial episode progressing toward hypertension and atherosclerosis. Cellular events underlying these processes involve changes in vascular smooth muscle cell growth, apoptosis/anoikis, cell migration, inflammation, and vasoconstriction. The present communication focuses on the biology of ROS signaling in vascular cells, discusses how oxidative stress contributes to vascular damage, and the therapeutic strategies/biotic factors that can prevent or treat ROS-associated cardiovascular disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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