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      Endothelial dysfunction in conduit arteries and in microcirculation. Novel therapeutic approaches.

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          Abstract

          The vascular endothelium not only is a single monolayer of cells between the vessel lumen and the intimal wall, but also plays an important role by controlling vascular function and structure mainly via the production of nitric oxide (NO). The so called "cardiovascular risk factors" are associated with endothelial dysfunction, that reduces NO bioavailability, increases oxidative stress, and promotes inflammation contributing therefore to the development of atherosclerosis. The significant role of endothelial dysfunction in the development of atherosclerosis emphasizes the need for efficient therapeutic interventions. During the last years statins, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor antagonists, antioxidants, beta-blockers and insulin sensitizers have been evaluated for their ability to restore endothelial function (Briasoulis et al., 2012). As there is not a straightforward relationship between therapeutic interventions and improvement of endothelial function but rather a complicated interrelationship between multiple cellular and sub-cellular targets, research has been focused on the understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Moreover, the development of novel diagnostic invasive and non-invasive methods has allowed the early detection of endothelial dysfunction expanding the role of therapeutic interventions and our knowledge. In the current review we present the available data concerning the contribution of endothelial dysfunction to atherogenesis and review the methods that assess endothelial function with a view to understand the multiple targets of therapeutic interventions. Finally we focus on the classic and novel therapeutic approaches aiming to improve endothelial dysfunction and the underlying mechanisms.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Pharmacol. Ther.
          Pharmacology & therapeutics
          Elsevier BV
          1879-016X
          0163-7258
          Dec 2014
          : 144
          : 3
          Affiliations
          [1 ] 1st Cardiology Department, Athens University Medical School, Hippokration Hospital, Greece. Electronic address: drtousoulis@hotmail.com.
          [2 ] 1st Cardiology Department, Athens University Medical School, Hippokration Hospital, Greece.
          Article
          S0163-7258(14)00120-X
          10.1016/j.pharmthera.2014.06.003
          24928320

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