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Autophagy is a regulated bulk degradation process involved in many different human pathologies. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is currently the only reliable method for monitoring autophagy in situ. Because TEM is labor intensive, we questioned whether useful marker proteins can be found for unambiguous detection of autophagy in tissue via routinely(More)
Injury or activation of the endothelium changes its regulatory functions and results in abnormal endothelial cell function. Dysfunction of the endothelium has been defined as an imbalance between relaxing and contracting factors, between procoagulant and anticoagulant mediators or between growth-inhibiting and growth-promoting substances. The first part of(More)
Autophagy is a catabolic pathway for bulk turnover of long-lived proteins and organelles via lysosomal degradation. Growing evidence reveals that autophagy is involved in the progression or prevention of many human diseases. Here we discuss the role of autophagy in the normal heart, in heart disease and atherosclerosis. In the heart, autophagy functions(More)
L-type Ca2+ channel (VGCC) mediated Ca2+ influx in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) contributes to the functional properties of large arteries in arterial stiffening and central blood pressure regulation. How this influx relates to steady-state contractions elicited by α1-adrenoreceptor stimulation and how it is modulated by small variations in resting(More)
The ubiquitin-proteasome system is involved in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to investigate whether plaque composition is affected by proteasome function. In vitro, the potent and selective proteasome inhibitor bortezomib induced apoptosis in both cultured smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and activated macrophages.(More)
BACKGROUND Arterial stiffness has been associated with an increased cardiovascular risk. The aim of this study was to investigate the interaction between arterial stiffness and atherosclerosis. METHODS AND RESULTS Mice with a mutation C1039G+/-) in the fibrillin-1 gene leading to fragmentation of the elastic fibers were crossbred with apolipoprotein(More)
L-type calcium channel blockers (LCCBs) reduce blood pressure more effectively in hypertensive than in normotensive subjects and are more effective in vascular smooth muscle (VSM) than in cardiac muscle. This has been explained by the depolarized resting potential of VSM in comparison with heart muscle cells and during hypertension, because both favor the(More)
Necrosis is a type of cell death characterized by a gain in cell volume, swelling of organelles, rupture of the plasma membrane and subsequent loss of intracellular contents. For a long time, the process has been considered as a merely accidental and uncontrolled form of cell death, but accumulating evidence suggests that it can also occur in a regulated(More)
We investigated whether activation of circulating DCs (dendritic cells) or levels of Flt3L (FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand) and GM-CSF (granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor), haematopoietic growth factors important for DC differentiation, could account for reduced blood DC numbers in CAD (coronary artery disease) patients. Concentrations of(More)
BACKGROUND The formation of reactive oxygen species is a critical event in atherosclerosis because it promotes cell proliferation, hypertrophy, growth arrest, and/or apoptosis and oxidation of LDL. In the present study, we investigated whether reactive oxygen species-induced oxidative damage to DNA occurs in human atherosclerotic plaques and whether this is(More)