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Role of autophagy in the cardiovascular system.

Despite recent scientific and technological advances, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of morbididy and mortality worldwide. Autophagy, a subcellular process for bulk destruction of proteins and organelles in lysosomes, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and a wide range of heart pathologies. However, the precise role of autophagy in these contexts remains obscure. In addition, the physiological significance of autophagy in the normal vasculature is largely unknown. Therefore, the following objectives are defined in the present research proposal: (1) study of the effect of autophagy deficiency in smooth muscle cells or endothelial cells on vasomotor function and blood pressure, (2) study of the effect of autophagy deficiency on the progression and stability of atherosclerotic plaques, and (3) prevention of atherosclerotic plaque rupture and downstream complications such as myocardial infarction and sudden death through pharmacological induction of autophagy. This project will give insight whether autophagy is beneficial or detrimental for cardiovascular disease and whether it plays a role in normal vascular function.
Date:1 Jan 2016 →  31 Dec 2019
Disciplines:Cardiac and vascular medicine, Biomarker discovery and evaluation, Drug discovery and development, Medicinal products, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacognosy and phytochemistry, Pharmacology, Pharmacotherapy, Toxicology and toxinology, Other pharmaceutical sciences