The endothelium plays an important role in the regulation of vasomotor tone and the maintenance of vascular integrity. Endothelial dysfunction, i.e., impaired endothelial dependent dilation, is a fundamental component of the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Although endothelial dysfunction is associated with a number of cardiovascular disease risk factors, those risk factors are not the only determinants of endothelial dysfunction. Despite knowing many molecules involved in endothelial signaling pathways, the genetic contribution to endothelial function has yet to be fully elucidated. This mini-review summarizes current evidence supporting the genetic contribution to endothelial vasomotor function. Findings from population-based studies, association studies for candidate genes, and unbiased large genomic scale studies in humans and rodent models are discussed. A brief synopsis of the current studies addressing the genetic regulation of endothelial responses to exercise training is also included.
- Association studies
- Endothelium-dependent vasodilator
- Flow-mediated dilation
- Rodent strain comparison