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Vascul Pharmacol. 2019 May;116:45-50. doi: 10.1016/j.vph.2019.03.004. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Oxidative stress and vascular stiffness in hypertension: A renewed interest for antioxidant therapies?

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National Research Council (CNR) Institute of Clinical Physiology, Lecce, Italy.
Institute of Cardiology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy. Electronic address:


Since the first successful launch of the Veterans Administration(VA) cooperative studies in the late 1960s, the increasing access to blood pressure lowering medications has significantly contributed to improving longevity and quality of life in hypertensive patients. Since then, insights into the pathogenesis of hypertension have shown a mechanistic role for reactive oxygen species (ROS) in all phases of disease progression, suggesting the potential utility of antioxidant therapies to counteract symptoms and, at the same time, treat a fundamental mechanism of the disease. Despite these progresses, hypertension still remains the main contributor to the global incidence of cardiovascular disease and the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. We here briefly review and update the role of ROS and ROS-dependent metalloproteinase activation in the maladaptive remodeling of the vascular wall in hypertension. Such understanding should provide new Potential sites of action for antioxidant therapies as an integrated therapeutic approach to hypertension and its consequences.


Antioxidants; Hypertension; Metalloproteinases; Reactive oxygen species; Vascular remodeling


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