Matrix Metalloproteinases and Arterial Hypertension: Role of Oxidative Stress and Nitric Oxide in Vascular Functional and Structural Alterations
Various pathophysiological mechanisms have been implicated in hypertension, but those resulting in vascular dysfunction and remodeling are critical and may help to identify critical pharmacological targets. This mini-review article focuses on central mechanisms contributing to the vascular dysfunction and remodeling of hypertension, increased oxidative stress and impaired nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability, which enhance vascular matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity. The relationship between
... O, MMP and oxidative stress culminating in the vascular alterations of hypertension is examined. While the alterations of hypertension are not fully attributable to these pathophysiological mechanisms, there is strong evidence that such mechanisms play critical roles in increasing vascular MMP expression and activity, thus resulting in abnormal degradation of extracellular matrix components, receptors, peptides, and intracellular proteins involved in the regulation of vascular function and structure. Imbalanced vascular MMP activity promotes vasoconstriction and impairs vasodilation, stimulating vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) to switch from contractile to synthetic phenotypes, thus facilitating cell growth or migration, which is associated with the deposition of extracellular matrix components. Finally, the protective effects of MMP inhibitors, antioxidants and drugs that enhance vascular NO activity are briefly discussed. Newly emerging therapies that address these essential mechanisms may offer significant advantages to prevent vascular remodeling in hypertensive patients.