Endothelial-mesenchymal transition in atherosclerosis

Celine E M Souihol, Martin C Harmsen, Paul C Evans, Guido Krenning*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease resulting in the hardening and thickening of the wall of arteries and the formation of plaques, which comprise immune cells, mesenchymal cells, lipids, and extracellular matrix. The source of mesenchymal cells in the atherosclerotic plaques has been under scrutiny for years. Current endothelial-lineage tracing studies indicate that the endothelium is a source for plaque-associated mesenchymal cells. Endothelial cells can acquire a mesenchymal phenotype through endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT), wherein the expression of endothelial markers and functions is lost and the expression of mesenchymal cell marker and functions acquired. Furthermore, EndMT can result in delamination and migration of endothelial cell-derived mesenchymal cells into the underlying tissue. Here, we review the contribution of EndMT in vascular disease focusing on atherosclerosis and describe the major biochemical and biomechanical signalling pathways in EndMT during atherosclerosis progression. Furthermore, we address how the well-established systemic atherosclerosis risk factors might facilitate EndMT during atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-577
Number of pages13
JournalCardiovascular Research
Volume114
Issue number4
Early online date4-Jan-2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15-Mar-2018

Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Endothelial function
  • Endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT)
  • Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta)
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Regional blood flow
  • Remodelling
  • Shear stress
  • GROWTH-FACTOR-BETA
  • SMOOTH-MUSCLE-CELLS
  • NF-KAPPA-B
  • IDIOPATHIC PORTAL-HYPERTENSION
  • ENDOPLASMIC-RETICULUM STRESS
  • CARDIAC-VALVE FORMATION
  • FLUID SHEAR-STRESS
  • KINASE C-DELTA
  • TGF-BETA
  • SIGNALING PATHWAY

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