The vascular NAD(P)H oxidases as therapeutic targets in cardiovascular diseases

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2003 Sep;24(9):471-8. doi: 10.1016/S0165-6147(03)00233-5.


Activation of vascular NAD(P)H oxidases and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by these enzyme systems are common in cardiovascular disease. In the past several years, a new family of NAD(P)H oxidase subunits, known as the non-phagocytic NAD(P)H oxidase (NOX) proteins, have been discovered and shown to play a role in vascular tissues. Recent studies make clearer the mechanisms of activation of the endothelial and vascular smooth muscle NAD(P)H oxidases. ROS produced following angiotensin II-mediated stimulation of NAD(P)H oxidases signal through pathways such as mitogen-activated protein kinases, tyrosine kinases and transcription factors, and lead to events such as inflammation, hypertrophy, remodeling and angiogenesis. Studies in mice that are deficient in p47(phox) and gp91(phox) (also known as NOX2) NAD(P)H oxidase subunits show that ROS produced by these oxidases contribute to cardiovascular diseases including atherosclerosis and hypertension. Recently, efforts have been devoted to developing inhibitors of NAD(P)H oxidases that will provide useful experimental tools and might have therapeutic potential in the treatment of human diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / physiology
  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / enzymology
  • Blood Vessels / physiology
  • Cardiovascular Agents / pharmacology
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Enzyme Activation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • NADPH Oxidases / drug effects*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / pharmacology


  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Angiotensin II
  • NADPH Oxidases