Published on:
    Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research, 2010; 1(4):165-170
    INVITED REVIEW | doi:10.4103/0975-3583.74258

    The role of RhoA/Rho kinase pathway in endothelial dysfunction


    Lin Yao, Maritza J. Romero, Haroldo A. Toque, Guang Yang1, Ruth B Caldwell1, and R. William Caldwell

    Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology and 1Vascular Biology Center, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA, USA


    Endothelial dysfunction is a key event in the development of vascular disease, and it precedes clinically obvious vascular pathology. Abnormal activation of the RhoA/Rho kinase (ROCK) pathway has been found to elevate vascular tone through unbalancing the production of vasodilating and vasoconstricting substances. Inhibition of the RhoA/ROCK pathway can prevent endothelial dysfunction in a variety of pathological conditions. This review, based on recent molecular, cellular, and animal studies, focuses on the current understanding of the ROCK pathway and its roles in endothelial dysfunction.

    Key words: Endothelial dysfunction, Rho kinase, nitric oxide, endothelium-dependent contractions.