Endothelial maintenance in health and disease: Importance of sex differences

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Abstract

The vascular endothelium has emerged as more than just an inert monolayer of cells lining the vascular bed. It represents the interface between the blood stream and vessel wall, and has a strategic role in regulating vascular homeostasis by the release of vasoactive substances. Endothelial dysfunction contributes to the development and progression of cardiovascular disease. Recognition of sex-specific factors implicated in endothelial cell biology is important for the identification of clinically relevant preventive and/or therapeutic strategies.

This review aims to give an overview of the recent advances in understanding the importance of sex specific observations in endothelial maintenance, both in healthy and diseased conditions. The female endothelium is highlighted in the context of polycystic ovary syndrome and pre-eclampsia. Furthermore, sex differences are explored in chronic kidney disease, which is currently appreciated as one of public health priorities.

Overall, this review endorses integration of sex analysis in experimental and patient-oriented research in the exciting field of vascular biology.

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