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Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2018 Oct 15;14:283-290. doi: 10.2147/VHRM.S173259. eCollection 2018.

Role of androgens in cardiovascular pathology.

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Department of Neurochemistry, Division of Basic and Applied Neurobiology, Serbsky Federal Medical Research Center of Psychiatry and Narcology, Moscow, Russia.
Laboratory of Angiopathology, Institute of General Pathology and Pathophysiology, Moscow, Russia,
Federal Scientific Clinical Center for Resuscitation and Rehabilitation, Moscow, Russia.
Institute for Atherosclerosis Research, Skolkovo Innovative Center, Moscow, Russia,


Cardiovascular effects of android hormones in normal and pathological conditions can lead to either positive or negative effects. The reason for this variation is unknown, but may be influenced by gender-specific effects of androids, heterogeneity of the vascular endothelium, differential expression of the androgen receptor in endothelial cells (ECs) and route of androgen administration. Generally, androgenic hormones are beneficial for ECs because these hormones induce nitric oxide production, proliferation, motility, and growth of ECs and inhibit inflammatory activation and induction of procoagulant, and adhesive properties in ECs. This indeed prevents endothelial dysfunction, an essential initial step in the development of vascular pathologies, including atherosclerosis. However, androgens can also activate endothelial production of some vasoconstrictors, which can have detrimental effects on the vascular endothelium. Androgens also activate proliferation, migration, and recruitment of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), thereby contributing to vascular repair and restoration of the endothelial layer. In this paper, we consider effects of androgen hormones on EC and EPC function in physiological and pathological conditions.


androgens; atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disorders; risk factors; testosterone therapy

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