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Nitric oxide (NO) produced by the endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) is a fundamental determinant of cardiovascular homesotasis: it regulates systemic blood pressure, vascular remodelling and angiogenesis. Physiologically, the most important stimulus for the continuous formation of NO is the viscous drag (shear stress) generated by the streaming blood on the(More)
BACKGROUND Experimental studies suggest that transplantation of blood-derived or bone marrow-derived progenitor cells beneficially affects postinfarction remodeling. The safety and feasibility of autologous progenitor cell transplantation in patients with ischemic heart disease is unknown. METHODS AND RESULTS We randomly allocated 20 patients with(More)
Recent studies provide increasing evidence that postnatal neovascularization involves bone marrow-derived circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). The regulation of EPCs in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) is unclear at present. Therefore, we determined the number and functional activity of EPCs in 45 patients with CAD and 15 healthy(More)
Notch signalling is a key intercellular communication mechanism that is essential for cell specification and tissue patterning, and which coordinates critical steps of blood vessel growth. Although subtle alterations in Notch activity suffice to elicit profound differences in endothelial behaviour and blood vessel formation, little is known about the(More)
BACKGROUND Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) have gained attention as critical mediators of acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Myeloperoxidase (MPO), a hemoprotein abundantly expressed by PMNs and secreted during activation, possesses potent proinflammatory properties and may contribute directly to tissue injury. However, whether MPO also provides(More)
The ratio of proapoptotic versus antiapoptotic Bcl-2 members is a critical determinant that plays a significant role in altering susceptibility to apoptosis. Therefore, a reduction of antiapoptotic protein levels in response to proximal signal transduction events may switch on the apoptotic pathway. In endothelial cells, tumor necrosis factor alpha(More)
Injury of the endothelial cells by the induction of apoptotic cell death may play an important role in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and the progression of inflammatory diseases. Here, we demonstrate an essential role for the ubiquitin-dependent proteasome complex in stimulus-induced degradation of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2. Bcl-2 is(More)
Rationale: Aging represents a major risk factor for coronary artery disease and aortic aneurysm formation. MicroRNAs (miRs) have emerged as key regulators of biological processes, but their role in age-associated vascular pathologies is unknown. Objective: We aim to identify miRs in the vasculature that are regulated by age and play a role in age-induced(More)
BACKGROUND Endothelial vasodilator dysfunction is a characteristic feature of patients at risk for coronary atherosclerosis. Therefore, we prospectively investigated whether coronary endothelial dysfunction predicts disease progression and cardiovascular event rates. METHODS AND RESULTS Coronary vasoreactivity was assessed in 147 patients using the(More)
RATIONALE MicroRNAs are small RNAs that control gene expression. Besides their cell intrinsic function, recent studies reported that microRNAs are released by cultured cells and can be detected in the blood. OBJECTIVE To address the regulation of circulating microRNAs in patients with stable coronary artery disease. METHODS AND RESULTS To determine the(More)