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Ann Vasc Dis. 2014;7(2):109-19. doi: 10.3400/avd.ra.14-00048. Epub 2014 May 16.

The Relationship between Vascular Function and the Autonomic Nervous System.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Endothelial dysfunction and autonomic nervous system dysfunction are both risk factors for atherosclerosis. There is evidence demonstrating that there is a close interrelationship between these two systems. In hypertension, endothelial dysfunction affects the pathologic process through autonomic nervous pathways, and the pathophysiological process of autonomic neuropathy in diabetes mellitus is closely related with vascular function. However, detailed mechanisms of this interrelationship have not been clearly explained. In this review, we summarize findings concerning the interrelationship between vascular function and the autonomic nervous system from both experimental and clinical studies. The clarification of this interrelationship may provide more comprehensive risk stratification and a new effective therapeutic strategy against atherosclerosis.


autonomic nervous system; endothelial cells; endothelial function; vascular function

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