Scientific article
Open access

Connexins participate in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis

Published inSeminars in immunopathology, vol. 31, no. 1, p. 49-61
  • Open Access - Licence nationale Springer
Publication date2009

Connexins are members of a large family of transmembrane proteins that form hemichannels or gap junctions. These channels allow the exchange of ions and small metabolites between the cytosol and extracellular space or between neighboring cells. Connexins are important in vascular physiology; they support radial and longitudinal cell-to-cell communication in the vascular wall. Four connexins are expressed in the vascular wall: Cx37, Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45. Their expression is not uniform in all blood vessels and varies with vascular territory and species. Significant changes in the expression pattern of vascular connexins have been described during the development of atherosclerosis, a progressive inflammatory disease. In this review, we provide an overview of (1) the tools used to study the involvement of connexins in atherosclerosis, (2) the participation of connexins in atherogenesis, (3) the increasing interest of a polymorphism in the human connexin37 gene as marker of cardiovascular disease, and (4) the possible therapeutic implications of connexins.

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis/genetics/immunology/metabolism/therapy
  • Biological Markers/metabolism
  • Cell Communication/immunology
  • Connexins/genetics/immunology/metabolism
  • Disease Progression
  • Gap Junctions/genetics/immunology/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Genetic/immunology
Citation (ISO format)
MOREL, Sandrine, BURNIER, Laurent, KWAK, Brenda. Connexins participate in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. In: Seminars in immunopathology, 2009, vol. 31, n° 1, p. 49–61. doi: 10.1007/s00281-009-0147-6
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1863-2297

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