Extracellular Matrix in Vascular Disease, Part 2/4: JACC Focus Seminar

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 May 5;75(17):2189-2203. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2020.03.018.


Medium-sized and large arteries consist of 3 layers: the tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. The tunica media accounts for the bulk of the vessel wall and is the chief determinant of mechanical compliance. It is primarily composed of circumferentially arranged layers of vascular smooth muscle cells that are separated by concentrically arranged elastic lamellae; a form of extracellular matrix (ECM). The tunica media is separated from the tunica intima and tunica adventitia, the innermost and outermost layers, respectively, by the internal and external elastic laminae. This second part of a 4-part JACC Focus Seminar discusses the contributions of the ECM to vascular homeostasis and pathology. Advances in genetics and proteomics approaches have fostered significant progress in our understanding of vascular ECM. This review highlights the important role of the ECM in vascular disease and the prospect of translating these discoveries into clinical disease biomarkers and potential future therapies.

Keywords: aneurysm; atherosclerosis; extracellular matrix; fibromuscular dysplasia proteomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiology / education*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / pathology*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Vascular Diseases / pathology*
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology