Myocardium is comprised of a number of cell types. Although most plentiful by volume, cardiac myocytes are greatly outnumbered by nonmyocyte cells, the latter constituting approximately 70% of all myocardial cells, of which approximately 90% are cardiac fibroblasts (CFBs). To maintain the integrity of the cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM) is one of the primary functions of cardiac fibroblasts. ECM represents a network structure that provides the structural and functional integrity to the heart. Besides that, it also contains a high number of cytokines and growth factors with effects on cardiac function and cardiac cells. Cardiac ECM also mediates the mechanical connection between the cardiomyocytes, CFBs, and blood. In addition to producing ECM proteins, CFBs also produce ECM-regulatory proteins – matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which can degrade ECM proteins – and their inhibitors, tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). To date, 26 MMPs have been cloned and characterized in vertebrates. From these, MMP1, MMP3, MMP8, MMP13, MMP2, MMP9, MMP12, MMP28, and the membrane-type MMPs (MT1-MMP/MMP14) have been identified to be involved in the myocardial remodeling. The role of higher MMPs in the cardiovascular system is less well explored.
Part of the book: The Role of Matrix Metalloproteinase in Human Body Pathologies
Diseases of the cardiovascular system are among the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in the adult population in developed countries. In addition to the possibilities of pharmacological treatment, the positive (and negative) influence of diet and its components is well documented in many cardiovascular diseases. Atherosclerosis is one of the main causes of chronic cardiovascular diseases. It is a chronic inflammatory disease of the vascular wall associated with disorders of lipid metabolism, endothelial dysfunction, migration, and proliferation of smooth muscle cells of the vascular media, oxidative stress, and many other mechanisms. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) contribute to the pathogenesis of many cardiovascular diseases. An imbalance between the formation of ROS and the ability of antioxidant systems to eliminate them leads to oxidative stress. Inhibition of ROS generation and function is thought to be a potential therapy to attenuate the extent of various cardiovascular diseases. The results of several studies indicate that the cardioprotective effect of quercetin could be related to its antioxidant properties. In the presented chapter, we will discuss the possible effects of quercetin on the prevention and treatment of various mechanisms supporting atherogenesis and thus the development of cardiovascular diseases.
Part of the book:[Working title]