, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 257-264
Date: 11 Jul 2007

Oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction in vascular disease

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Abstract

In response to physiologic stimuli, endothelial cells dynamically regulate arterial vascular tone by producing vasodilators and vasoconstrictors. Risk factors for atherosclerosis, such as diabetes, smoking, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension, interfere with this response, promoting endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis. This review explores whether oxidative stress might be a common feature of both endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Using biomarkers to assess endothelial function might provide insights into the pathways for oxidative stress in vascular disease. However, currently available markers of oxidative stress and endothelial function are unsuitable for routine clinical use because they are too expensive and inadequately validated. Thus, there is a need to develop and validate new markers that could be used to both measure oxidative stress and monitor therapies that specifically interrupt oxidative pathways in vascular tissue. Such markers might eventually help to identify susceptible individuals at a stage when cardiovascular complications could be prevented.