Fortuño A, San José G, Moreno MU, Díez J, Zalba G. Oxidative stress and vascular remodelling. Exp Physiol 2005 Jul;90(4):457-462
Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathophysiology of vascular diseases. Reactive
oxygen species, especially superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide, are important signalling
molecules in cardiovascular cells. Enhanced superoxide production increases nitric oxide
inactivation and leads to an accumulation of peroxynitrites and hydrogen peroxide. Reactive
oxygen species participate in growth, apoptosis and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells,
in the modulation of endothelial function, including endothelium-dependent relaxation and
expression of proinflammatory phenotype, and in the modification of the extracellular matrix.
All these events play important roles in vascular diseases such as hypertension, suggesting that
the sources of reactive oxygen species and the signalling pathways that theymodifymay represent
important therapeutic targets. Potential sources of vascular superoxide production include
NADPH-dependent oxidases, xanthine oxidases, lipoxygenases, mitochondrial oxidases and
nitricoxide synthases. Studies performedduring the last decadehave shownthatNADPHoxidase
is the most important source of superoxide anion in phagocytic and vascular cells. Evidence from
experimental animal and human studies suggests a significant role ofNADPHoxidase activation
in the vascular remodelling and endothelial dysfunction found in cardiovascular diseases.