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Curr Opin Drug Discov Devel. 2007 Sep;10(5):590-6.

Vascular rho kinases and their potential therapeutic applications.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.


Over the last decade, numerous advances have been made in characterizing the various roles of rho kinase in vascular function. In light of extensive evidence for the involvement of rho kinase in the development of several cardiovascular disorders, including hypertension and arterial spasm, this protein is now considered to be an important therapeutic target. Several rho kinase inhibitors are already in experimental use, and further novel and structurally diverse inhibitors have been described. This review focuses on recent developments in our understanding of how rho kinase contributes to vascular dysfunction, and thus the potential of rho kinase inhibitors as therapeutic agents for vascular diseases.

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