The Role of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells in Arterial Remodeling: Focus on Calcification-Related Processes

Armand Jaminon, Koen Reesink, Abraham Kroon, Leon Schurgers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Citations (Web of Science)
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Abstract

Arterial remodeling refers to the structural and functional changes of the vessel wall that occur in response to disease, injury, or aging. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) play a pivotal role in regulating the remodeling processes of the vessel wall. Phenotypic switching of VSMC involves oxidative stress-induced extracellular vesicle release, driving calcification processes. The VSMC phenotype is relevant to plaque initiation, development and stability, whereas, in the media, the VSMC phenotype is important in maintaining tissue elasticity, wall stress homeostasis and vessel stiffness. Clinically, assessment of arterial remodeling is a challenge; particularly distinguishing intimal and medial involvement, and their contributions to vessel wall remodeling. The limitations pertain to imaging resolution and sensitivity, so methodological development is focused on improving those. Moreover, the integration of data across the microscopic (i.e., cell-tissue) and macroscopic (i.e., vessel-system) scale for correct interpretation is innately challenging, because of the multiple biophysical and biochemical factors involved. In the present review, we describe the arterial remodeling processes that govern arterial stiffening, atherosclerosis and calcification, with a particular focus on VSMC phenotypic switching. Additionally, we review clinically applicable methodologies to assess arterial remodeling and the latest developments in these, seeking to unravel the ubiquitous corroborator of vascular pathology that calcification appears to be.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5694
Number of pages29
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Volume20
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • arterial remodeling
  • vascular smooth muscle cell
  • vascular calcification
  • vascular stiffness
  • hypertension
  • phenotype switching
  • INTIMA-MEDIA THICKNESS
  • PULSE-WAVE VELOCITY
  • ATHEROSCLEROTIC PLAQUE BURDEN
  • BEAM COMPUTED-TOMOGRAPHY
  • CORONARY-HEART-DISEASE
  • AGE-RELATED-CHANGES
  • RAT CAROTID-ARTERY
  • GROWTH-FACTOR-BETA
  • BLOOD-PRESSURE
  • AORTIC STIFFNESS

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