Reactive Oxygen Species and Antioxidants in the Pathophysiology of Cardiovascular Disease: Does the Actual Knowledge Justify a Clinical Approach?

Author(s): Salvatore De Rosa, Plinio Cirillo, Antonella Paglia, Laura Sasso, Vito Di Palma, Massimo Chiariello

Journal Name: Current Vascular Pharmacology

Volume 8 , Issue 2 , 2010

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There is evidence that reactive oxygen species (ROS) are related to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Results from many studies support the hypothesis that ROS released from various sources or dysfunctional mitochondrial respiratory chain play a role in the development of atherosclerosis and its complications. This phenomenon is due to ROS-mediated signalling pathways that are involved in the modulation of several vascular mechanisms. Various animal models have demonstrated that ROS have a causal role in atherothrombosis and other vascular diseases. Oxidative stress is being proposed as the unifying mechanism for many CVD risk factors. In particular, ROS may be responsible for plaque rupture and subsequent thrombosis which lead to myocardial infarction and stroke. Many drugs or agents have been tested to prevent or block oxidation underlying atherothrombotic processes, often with discordant outcomes. We observed that pre-treatment with some antioxidants, such as pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) or N-acetylcysteine, as well as some vitamins with recognized antioxidant properties, namely ascorbic acid (vitamin C), all-trans Retinoic Acid (atRA) and α-tocopherol (vitamin E) can suppress oxidative stress (OS)-induced Tissue Factor (TF) expression in human coronary artery endothelial cells. The present review, starting from our experimental observations, focuses on the influence of redox balance on atherothrombotic processes and on the effects of antioxidant treatment. A better understanding of the complex regulation of cellular redox balance could facilitate the development of newer antioxidants aimed at specific cellular targets. Research could also help assess the role of combination pharmacological intervention for the treatment and prevention of vascular disease.

Keywords: Antioxidants, atherosclerosis, oxidative stress

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Article Details

Year: 2010
Page: [259 - 275]
Pages: 17
DOI: 10.2174/157016110790887009
Price: $65

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