Wnt signaling in atherosclerosis

W. Matthijs Blankesteijn*, Kevin C. M. Hermans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Atherosclerosis is a disease of the vascular wall that forms the basis for a large spectrum of pathologies of various organs and tissues. Although massive research efforts in the last decades have yielded valuable information about its underlying molecular mechanisms, this has not led to a translation info effective therapeutic interventions that can stop the progression or even can induce regression of atherosclerosis. This underscores the importance of investigations on the involvement of novel signaling pathways in the development and progression of this condition. In this review we focus on the role of Wnt signaling in atherosclerosis. Experimental evidence is presented that Writ signaling is involved in many aspects of the development and progression of vascular lesions including endothelial dysfunction, macrophage activation and the proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells. Subsequently, we will discuss the role of Wnt signaling in myocardial infarction and stroke, two Common pathologies resulting from the progression of atherosclerotic lesions towards an unstable phenotype. Despite the fact that the published data sometimes are ambiguous or even conflicting, a picture is emerging that an attenuation of Wnt signaling is beneficial for the cardiovascular system that is compromised by atherosclerosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-130
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2015


  • Wnt
  • Frizzled
  • Signal transduction
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Stroke


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