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Review Article

JCDR. 2010; 1(4): 165-170

The role of RhoA/Rho kinase pathway in endothelial dysfunction

Lin Yao, Maritza J. Romero, Haroldo A. Toque, Guang Yang, Ruth B Caldwell, R. William Caldwell.


Endothelial dysfunction is a key event in the development of vascular disease, and it precedes clinically obvious
vascular pathology. Abnormal activation of the RhoA/Rho kinase (ROCK) pathway has been found to elevate
vascular tone through unbalancing the production of vasodilating and vasoconstricting substances. Inhibition
of the RhoA/ROCK pathway can prevent endothelial dysfunction in a variety of pathological conditions. This
review, based on recent molecular, cellular, and animal studies, focuses on the current understanding of the
ROCK pathway and its roles in endothelial dysfunction.

Key words: Endothelial dysfunction, Rho kinase, nitric oxide, endothelium-dependent contractions

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