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J Clin Invest. 2013 Feb;123(2):540-1. doi: 10.1172/JCI66843. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Linking endothelial dysfunction with endothelial cell activation.

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Cardiology Section, University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 6080, Room B608, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


The thin layer of cells that lines the interior of blood vessels, known as the endothelium, plays a complex role in vascular biology. The endothelium mediates blood vessel tone, hemostasis, neutrophil recruitment, hormone trafficking, and fluid filtration. Endothelial dysfunction, as defined by a lack of NO, has been linked to a variety of disease states, including atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. Indeed, restoration of endothelial function is one of the earliest recognizable benefits of statin therapy. In 1995, James Liao and colleagues published a study in the JCI demonstrating that NO is a vascular protective factor that limits endothelial activation and prevents leukocyte adhesion to the vessel wall.

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