Author(s): Nachtigal P, Zemankova Vecerova L, Rathouska J, Strasky Z
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Abstract Endoglin (CD 105, TGF-β receptor III) is a homodimeric transmembrane glycoprotein that plays a regulatory role in TGF-β signaling. Its functional role in the context of atherosclerosis has yet to be defined and should be stated here. Therefore, we focused on the role of endoglin in atherosclerosis in both humans and experimental animals. Endoglin expression was demonstrated in atherosclerotic vessels predominantly in endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells in various types of blood vessels in mice and humans, suggesting its participation in atherogenesis. Endoglin expression was also related to the expression of eNOS in endothelium, repair of the vessel wall, plaque neoangiogenesis, production of collagen and stabilization of atherosclerotic lesions. In addition, increased levels of soluble endoglin were associated with hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis, acute myocardial infarction and were related to inhibition of TGF-β signaling in the vessel wall. Moreover, soluble endoglin levels were significantly lowered after a series of extracorporeal eliminations in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia. Additionally, statin treatment decreased levels of soluble endoglin and increased its expression in aorta, which was related to reduced atherosclerosis in mice. In conclusion, we propose that measurement of soluble endoglin might give information about progression of the atherosclerotic process or the efficacy of therapeutic interventions, which is the task that must be answered in clinical trials. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Atherosclerosis
and referenced in Translational Medicine