NR4A nuclear orphan receptors: protective in vascular disease?

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Purpose of reviewThe nuclear orphan receptors Nur77 (NR4A1), Nurr1 (NR4A2) and NOR-1 (NR4A3) are known to be involved in T-cell apoptosis, brain development, and the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. Here, we review our current understanding of the NR4A nuclear receptors in processes that are relevant to vascular disease.Recent findingsNR4A nuclear receptors have recently been described to play a role in metabolism by regulating gluconeogenesis, lipolysis, energy expenditure, and adipogenesis. The function of NR4A nuclear receptors has also extensively been investigated in cells crucial in vascular lesion formation, such as macrophages, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells.SummaryThe involvement of NR4A nuclear receptors in both metabolism and in processes in the vessel wall supports a substantial role for NR4A nuclear receptors in the development of vascular disease.

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