Apoptosis: Basic concepts and implications in coronary artery disease

Patricia J.M. Best, David Hasdai, Giuseppe Sangiorgi, Robert S. Schwartz, David R. Holmes, Robert D. Simari, Amir Lerman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Apoptosis is an active form of cell death that is intricately regulated and distinct from necrosis. Data suggest that apoptosis may play a role in the pathophysiology of coronary atherosclerotic disease. Anatomic evidence of apoptosis has been observed in coronary atherosclerosis, restenosis, and transplant arteriopathy, accompanied by an increase in biochemical and genetic markers of apoptosis. Vasoactive substances such as nitric oxide and angiotensin II also regulate vascular smooth muscle cell apoptosis; vasodilating factors may induce apoptosis, whereas vasoconstricting factors may inhibit apoptosis. The aim of this article is to review key points regarding the detection of apoptosis, its regulation, and its possible role in the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-22
Number of pages9
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cell death
  • Coronary disease
  • Restenosis


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