, Volume 63, Issue 5, pp 565-578
Date: 16 Jan 2006

Intra-vascular glucocorticoid metabolism as a modulator of vascular structure and function

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The ability of glucocorticoids to directly alter arterial function, structure and the inflammatory response to vascular injury may contribute to their well-established link with the development of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have emphasised the importance of tissue-specific regulation of glucocorticoid availability by the 11 β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11HSD) isozymes, which inter-convert active glucocorticoids and their inactive metabolites. The expression of both type 1 and type 2 11HSDs in the arterial wall suggests that prereceptor metabolism of glucocorticoids may have a direct impact on vascular physiology. Indeed there is evidence that 11HSDs influence glucocorticoid-mediated changes in vascular contractility, vascular structure, the inflammatory response to injury and the growth of new blood vessels. Hence, inhibition of 11HSD isozymes may provide a novel therapeutic target in vascular disease.

Received 19 September 2005; received after revision 1 November 2005; accepted 25 November 2005