1. Department of Cardiology and Angiology, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany.
2. Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Centre for Biomedical Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) family members are involved in a wide range of diverse functions and play key roles in embryogenesis, development and tissue homeostasis. Perturbation of TGFβ signaling may lead to vascular and other diseases. In vitro studies have provided evidence that TGFβ family members have a wide range of diverse effects on vascular cells, which are highly dependent on cellular context. Consistent with these observations genetic studies in mice and humans showed that TGFβ family members have ambiguous effects on the function of the cardiovascular system. In this review we discuss the recent advances on TGFβ signaling in (cardio)vascular diseases, and describe the value of TGFβ signaling as both a disease marker and therapeutic target for (cardio)vascular diseases.
Keywords: atherosclerosis, BMP, hypertension, Smad, TGFβ, vessel calcification.