Role of AGEs-RAGE system in cardiovascular disease

Curr Pharm Des. 2014;20(14):2395-402. doi: 10.2174/13816128113199990475.


Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are a heterogenous group of molecules formed during a non-enzymatic reaction between proteins and sugar residues. Recently, AGEs and their receptor (receptor for AGEs; RAGE) play a central role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which accounts for disability and high mortality rate in patients with diabetes. AGEs initiate diabetic micro- and macrovascular complications through the structural modification and functional alteration of the extracellular matrix proteins as well as intracellular signaling molecules. Engagement of RAGEs with AGEs elicits intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and subsequently activates mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) signaling, followed by production of several inflammatory and/or profibrotic factors such as vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), thereby being involved in the progression of atherosclerosis. Administration of soluble form of RAGE (sRAGE) could work as a decoy receptor for AGEs and might inhibit the binding of AGEs to RAGE, preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis in animal models. Furthermore, AGEs/high mobility group box-1 (HMGB-1)-RAGE interaction is involved in heart failure, abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and vascular calcification as well. Thus, blockade of the AGEs/HMGB-1-RAGE system may be a promising therapeutic target for preventing diabetes- and/or age-related CVD. We review here the pathological role of the AGEs/HMGB-1-RAGE system in various types of CVD.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • Reactive Oxygen Species