Targeting the platelet-derived growth factor signalling in cardiovascular disease

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Over 40 years of studies on platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) and their receptors, the molecular mechanisms and functional roles of PDGFs in the development of embryos and human diseases, especially in cancer, are gradually being unravelled. PDGF-BB was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for promoting wound healing, while imatinib, which selectively inhibits tyrosine kinase activity of PDGF receptors (PDGFR), has been prescribed to treat patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor and chronic eosinophilic leukaemia. However, much less often have these drugs been studied in relation to cardiovascular diseases. This brief review mainly describes the role of PDGF signalling in cardiovascular pathogenesis such as atherosclerosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, diabetes, angiogenesis and inflammation with an emphasis on how PDGFs function in these situations and what components might serve as potential therapeutic targets against cardio-metabolic dysfunction.

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