Mitochondria play a key role in the normal functioning of the heart and in the pathogenesis and development of various types of heart disease. In addition, specific mitochondrial cardiomyopathies due to mutations in mitochondrial DNA have been identified. Increasing studies demonstrate that mitochondrial function has emerged as a therapeutic target in heart disease. This chapter addresses the recent studies of the role and the mechanism of mitochondria in the development of heart disease, and the progress in clinical diagnosis and treatments on a mitochondrial basis. Consequently, the aim of this chapter is to outline current knowledge about mitochondria in the heart disease.
Part of the book: Mitochondrial Diseases
Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are the stromal cells of the vascular wall and are responsible for regulating arterial tone, blood pressure, and blood supply of the tissues. VSMCs display diversity in function and phenotype depending on their location within the arterial tree (large conduit vs. small resistance vessels), their embryologic origin, and their organ-dependent microenvironment. The heterogeneity of VSMCs is regulated by multiple mechanisms including intracellular signaling and changes in the VSMC microenvironment. Genetic disorders and extrinsic stimuli-induced dysfunction in VSMCs are associated with age-related vascular pathogenesis and vascular diseases, and thus are considered as a potential therapeutic target.
Part of the book: Muscle Cell and Tissue