Cytokines affecting endothelial and smooth muscle cells in vascular disease

Elaine W. Raines, Nicola Ferri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cellular and extracellular matrix accumulations that comprise the lesions of atherosclerosis are driven by local release of cytokines at sites of predilection for lesion formation, and by the specific attraction and activation of cells expressing receptors for these cytokines. Although cytokines were originally characterized for their potent effects on immune and inflammatory cells, they also promote endothelial cell dysfunction and alter smooth muscle cell (SMC) phenotype and function, which can contribute to or retard vascular pathologies. This review summarizes in vivo studies that have characterized endothelial- and smooth muscle-specific effects of altering cytokine signaling in vascular disease. Although multiple reports have identified cytokines as pivotal players in endothelial and SMC responses in vascular disease, they also have highlighted the need to delineate the critical genes and specific cellular functions regulated by individual cytokine signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1092
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Adhesion molecule
  • Antigen presentation
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Chemokine
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Inflammation
  • Injury
  • Proliferation
  • Signaling
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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