Reactive oxygen species in the vasculature: molecular and cellular mechanisms

Hypertension. 2003 Dec;42(6):1075-81. doi: 10.1161/01.HYP.0000100443.09293.4F. Epub 2003 Oct 27.


Accumulating evidence indicates that reactive oxygen species (ROS) play major roles in the initiation and progression of cardiovascular dysfunction associated with diseases such as hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and chronic heart failure. ROS produced by migrating inflammatory cells as well as vascular cells (endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, and adventitial fibroblasts) have distinct functional effects on each cell type. These include cell growth, apoptosis, migration, inflammatory gene expression, and matrix regulation. ROS, by regulating vascular cell function, can play a central role in normal vascular physiology, and can contribute substantially to the development of vascular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiology*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Superoxides / metabolism


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Superoxides