Scientific article

Multiple roles of connexins in atherosclerosis- and restenosis-induced vascular remodelling

ContributorsMorel, Sandrineorcid
Published inJournal of vascular research, vol. 51, no. 2, p. 149-161
Publication date2014

Endothelial dysfunction is the initial step in atherosclerotic plaque development in large- and medium-sized arteries. This progressive disease, which starts during childhood, is characterized by the accumulation of lipids, macrophages, neutrophils, T lymphocytes and smooth muscle cells in the intima of the vessels. Erosion and rupture of the atherosclerotic plaque may induce myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accidents, which are responsible for a large percentage of sudden deaths. The most common treatment for atherosclerosis is angioplasty and stent implantation, but these surgical interventions favour a vascular reaction called restenosis and the associated de-endothelialization increases the risk of thrombosis. This review provides an overview of the role of connexins, a large family of transmembrane proteins, in vascular remodelling associated with atherosclerosis and restenosis. The connexins expressed in the vascular wall are Cx37, Cx40, Cx43 and Cx45; their expressions vary with vascular territory and species. Connexins form hemichannels or gap junction channels, allowing the exchange of ions and small metabolites between the cytosol and extracellular space or between neighbouring cells, respectively. Connexins have important roles in vascular physiology; they support radial and longitudinal cell-to-cell communication in the vascular wall, and significant changes in their expression patterns have been described during atherosclerosis and restenosis. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Citation (ISO format)
MOREL, Sandrine. Multiple roles of connexins in atherosclerosis- and restenosis-induced vascular remodelling. In: Journal of vascular research, 2014, vol. 51, n° 2, p. 149–161. doi: 10.1159/000362122
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1018-1172

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