Endothelial Cells: A Source and Target of Oxidant Damage
By virtue of their position interposed between the blood and the tissues, endothelial cells are ideally placed to receive both blood-borne and tissue-derived signals. By the same token, endothelial cells and their products are strategically situated to interact directly with cells and molecules of blood and with the underlying tissues. We now know that endothelial cells are highly metabolically active and responsive cells that control the passage of substances across the vascular wall and regulate the quality and quantity of circulating bioactive molecules.1 Many of the interactions of endothelial cells with cell types such a neutrophils and macrophages may involve the endothelial cell as the target of oxidant injury2,3 (see also P.A. Ward, this volume). However, endothelial cells themselves can respond to stimuli to release active products, including oxygen metabolites, into the surroundings. Some of these endothelial-derived products may serve a regulatory function as in the case of endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF), and its actions on platelets and smooth muscle cells, while others are presumably designed as a cellular defense mechanism against, for example, microbial infection. Evidence is accumulating to indicate that endothelial cells can respond to a wide variety of stimuli with an equally wide range of responses. However, what is less clear is how the endothelium translates the signal into the response.
KeywordsEndothelial Cell Adenine Nucleotide Calcium Ionophore Microcarrier Culture Pulmonary Endothelial Cell
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