Patwari P, Lee RT. 2007. Thioredoxins, mitochondria, and hypertension. The American journal of pathology. 170(3):805-8. Pubmed: 17322366


Endothelial dysfunction, often demonstrated by the loss of the endothelial cell's ability to cause vasodilation in response to appropriate stimuli, is one of the earliest events in the development of atherosclerosis. This has led to intense investigation of the factors affecting both the production and the degradation of NO, the endothelium-derived relaxing factor and a primary mediator of endothelial function. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), particularly superoxide anion, are well known to inhibit NO, and therefore the mechanisms by which endothelium regulates production of ROS are also of high interest. In this issue of The American Journal of Pathology, Zhang et al( 1) demonstrate regulation of such events by a mitochondria-specific thioredoxin, which reduces oxidative stress and increases NO bioavailability, thus preserving vascular endothelial cell function and preventing atherosclerosis development.

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Rich Lee seeks to understand heart failure and metabolic diseases that accompany human aging, and translate that understanding into therapies. Lee is an active clinician, regularly treating patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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