Reprogramming the cell cycle machinery to treat cardiovascular disease
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.coph.2007.12.015
Coronary artery disease is one of the most common heart pathologies. Restriction of blood flow to the heart by atherosclerotic lesions, leading to angina pectoris and myocardial infarction, damages the heart, resulting in impaired cardiac function. Damaged myocardium is replaced by scar tissue since surviving cardiomyocytes are unable to proliferate to replace lost heart tissue. Although narrowing of the coronary arteries can be treated successfully using coronary revascularisation procedures, re-occlusion of the treated vessels remains a significant clinical problem. Cell cycle control mechanisms are key in both the impaired cardiac repair by surviving cardiomyocytes and re-narrowing of treated vessels by maladaptive proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. Strategies targeting the cell cycle machinery in the heart and vasculature offer promise both for the improvement of cardiac repair following MI and the prevention of restenosis and bypass graft failure following revascularisation procedures.