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      Role of Oxidative Modifications in Atherosclerosis

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      Physiological Reviews

      American Physiological Society

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          Abstract

          This review focuses on the role of oxidative processes in atherosclerosis and its resultant cardiovascular events. There is now a consensus that atherosclerosis represents a state of heightened oxidative stress characterized by lipid and protein oxidation in the vascular wall. The oxidative modification hypothesis of atherosclerosis predicts that low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation is an early event in atherosclerosis and that oxidized LDL contributes to atherogenesis. In support of this hypothesis, oxidized LDL can support foam cell formation in vitro, the lipid in human lesions is substantially oxidized, there is evidence for the presence of oxidized LDL in vivo, oxidized LDL has a number of potentially proatherogenic activities, and several structurally unrelated antioxidants inhibit atherosclerosis in animals. An emerging consensus also underscores the importance in vascular disease of oxidative events in addition to LDL oxidation. These include the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species by vascular cells, as well as oxidative modifications contributing to important clinical manifestations of coronary artery disease such as endothelial dysfunction and plaque disruption. Despite these abundant data however, fundamental problems remain with implicating oxidative modification as a (requisite) pathophysiologically important cause for atherosclerosis. These include the poor performance of antioxidant strategies in limiting either atherosclerosis or cardiovascular events from atherosclerosis, and observations in animals that suggest dissociation between atherosclerosis and lipoprotein oxidation. Indeed, it remains to be established that oxidative events are a cause rather than an injurious response to atherogenesis. In this context, inflammation needs to be considered as a primary process of atherosclerosis, and oxidative stress as a secondary event. To address this issue, we have proposed an “oxidative response to inflammation” model as a means of reconciling the response-to-injury and oxidative modification hypotheses of atherosclerosis.

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          Most cited references 863

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          Despite its very potent vasodilating action in vivo, acetylcholine (ACh) does not always produce relaxation of isolated preparations of blood vessels in vitro. For example, in the helical strip of the rabbit descending thoracic aorta, the only reported response to ACh has been graded contractions, occurring at concentrations above 0.1 muM and mediated by muscarinic receptors. Recently, we observed that in a ring preparation from the rabbit thoracic aorta, ACh produced marked relaxation at concentrations lower than those required to produce contraction (confirming an earlier report by Jelliffe). In investigating this apparent discrepancy, we discovered that the loss of relaxation of ACh in the case of the strip was the result of unintentional rubbing of its intimal surface against foreign surfaces during its preparation. If care was taken to avoid rubbing of the intimal surface during preparation, the tissue, whether ring, transverse strip or helical strip, always exhibited relaxation to ACh, and the possibility was considered that rubbing of the intimal surface had removed endothelial cells. We demonstrate here that relaxation of isolated preparations of rabbit thoracic aorta and other blood vessels by ACh requires the presence of endothelial cells, and that ACh, acting on muscarinic receptors of these cells, stimulates release of a substance(s) that causes relaxation of the vascular smooth muscle. We propose that this may be one of the principal mechanisms for ACh-induced vasodilation in vivo. Preliminary reports on some aspects of the work have been reported elsewhere.
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              Points of control in inflammation.

               Carl Nathan (2015)
              Inflammation is a complex set of interactions among soluble factors and cells that can arise in any tissue in response to traumatic, infectious, post-ischaemic, toxic or autoimmune injury. The process normally leads to recovery from infection and to healing, However, if targeted destruction and assisted repair are not properly phased, inflammation can lead to persistent tissue damage by leukocytes, lymphocytes or collagen. Inflammation may be considered in terms of its checkpoints, where binary or higher-order signals drive each commitment to escalate, go signals trigger stop signals, and molecules responsible for mediating the inflammatory response also suppress it, depending on timing and context. The non-inflammatory state does not arise passively from an absence of inflammatory stimuli; rather, maintenance of health requires the positive actions of specific gene products to suppress reactions to potentially inflammatory stimuli that do not warrant a full response.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Physiological Reviews
                Physiological Reviews
                American Physiological Society
                0031-9333
                1522-1210
                October 2004
                October 2004
                : 84
                : 4
                : 1381-1478
                Article
                10.1152/physrev.00047.2003
                15383655
                © 2004

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