Vascular smooth muscle contraction in hypertension

Touyz, R. M. , Alves-Lopes, R. , Rios, F. J. , De Lucca Camargo, L. , Anagnostopoulou, A., Arner, A. and Montezano, A. C. (2018) Vascular smooth muscle contraction in hypertension. Cardiovascular Research, 114(4), pp. 529-539. (doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvy023) (PMID:29394331) (PMCID:PMC5852517)

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Hypertension is a major risk factor for many common chronic diseases, such as heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke, vascular dementia and chronic kidney disease. Pathophysiological mechanisms contributing to the development of hypertension include increased vascular resistance, determined in large part by reduced vascular diameter due to increased vascular contraction and arterial remodelling. These processes are regulated by complex interacting systems such as the renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS), sympathetic nervous system, immune activation and oxidative stress, which influence vascular smooth muscle function. Vascular smooth muscle cells are highly plastic and in pathological conditions undergo phenotypic changes from a contractile to a proliferative state. Vascular smooth muscle contraction is triggered by an increase in intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i), promoting actin-myosin cross-bridge formation. Growing evidence indicates that contraction is also regulated by calcium-independent mechanisms involving RhoA-Rho kinase (ROCK), protein kinase C (PKC) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, reactive oxygen species and reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. Activation of immune/inflammatory pathways and noncoding RNAs are also emerging as important regulators of vascular function. Vascular smooth muscle cell [Ca2+]i, not only determines the contractile state but also influences activity of many calcium-dependent transcription factors and proteins thereby impacting the cellular phenotype and function. Perturbations in vascular smooth muscle cell signaling and altered function influence vascular reactivity and tone, important determinants of vascular resistance and blood pressure. Here we discuss mechanisms regulating vascular reactivity and contraction in physiological and pathophysiological conditions and highlight some new advances in the field, focusing specifically on hypertension.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:De Lucca Camargo, Ms Livia and Rios, Dr Francisco and Anagnostopoulou, Dr Aikaterini and Montezano, Dr Augusto and Lopes, Dr Rheure and Touyz, Professor Rhian
Authors: Touyz, R. M., Alves-Lopes, R., Rios, F. J., De Lucca Camargo, L., Anagnostopoulou, A., Arner, A., and Montezano, A. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health
Journal Name:Cardiovascular Research
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1755-3245
Published Online:31 January 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Cardiovascular Research 114(4):529-539
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
617771BHF centre of excellenceRhian TouyzBritish Heart Foundation (BHF)RE/13/5/30177RI CARDIOVASCULAR & MEDICAL SCIENCES