Glycosaminoglycans in Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis
The endothelium plays a crucial role in regulating vascular tone, inflammatory responses, thrombosis, and atherosclerosis. Part of these activities is regulated by the presence of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the vessel wall and in the extracellular matrix (ECM) surrounding it. GAGs in atherosclerosis can help regulate atherogenesis through their ability to retain lipoproteins in the vessel wall. Prolonged retention of lipoproteins may render them susceptible to chemical modifications, leading to their aggregation, cellular uptake, and lipid accumulation. GAGs can also act as anticoagulants by interacting with proteins like antitrombin and heparin cofator II and thereby promoting their activation and increasing their ability to inhibit thrombin. In this chapter, we discuss the roles of different GAGs located in the vessel wall and ECM, focusing on understanding the mechanisms of action of these molecules in atherosclerosis and thrombosis.
KeywordsHeparan Sulfate Chondroitin Sulfate Dermatan Sulfate Heparan Sulfate Chain Hemodynamic Shear Stress
This work was supported by Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo – FAPESP 2007/01112-6, 2010/11474-5 (CPV) and 2009/00950-3, 2006/06560-4 (CCW), 2010/01119-3 (JAPG) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico- CNPq – 470608/2009-9 (CCW)
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