Targeting the cell cycle machinery for the treatment of cardiovascular disease
Bicknell, K. A., Surry, E. L. and Brooks, G. (2003) Targeting the cell cycle machinery for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 55 (5). pp. 571-591. ISSN 2042-7158
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1211/002235703765344487
Cardiovascular disease represents a major clinical problem affecting a significant proportion of the world's population and remains the main cause of death in the UK. The majority of therapies currently available for the treatment of cardiovascular disease do not cure the problem but merely treat the symptoms. Furthermore, many cardioactive drugs have serious side effects and have narrow therapeutic windows that can limit their usefulness in the clinic. Thus, the development of more selective and highly effective therapeutic strategies that could cure specific cardiovascular diseases would be of enormous benefit both to the patient and to those countries where healthcare systems are responsible for an increasing number of patients. In this review, we discuss the evidence that suggests that targeting the cell cycle machinery in cardiovascular cells provides a novel strategy for the treatment of certain cardiovascular diseases. Those cell cycle molecules that are important for regulating terminal differentiation of cardiac myocytes and whether they can be targeted to reinitiate cell division and myocardial repair will be discussed as will the molecules that control vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) and endothelial cell proliferation in disorders such as atherosclerosis and restenosis. The main approaches currently used to target the cell cycle machinery in cardiovascular disease have employed gene therapy techniques. We will overview the different methods and routes of gene delivery to the cardiovascular system and describe possible future drug therapies for these disorders. Although the majority of the published data comes from animal studies, there are several instances where potential therapies have moved into the clinical setting with promising results.