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Atherosclerosis and Diabetes Research
Oxidative stress and endothelial function

The main aim of the group is to study the role of oxidative stress and free radicals (highly reactive, often toxic, molecules frequently produced as a by-product of respiration) in the function of the lining of blood vessels known as the endothelium. This lining can be viewed as the largest gland in the body and as such is responsible for maintaining blood vessels in good condition by producing a number of important mediators, such as nitric oxide. The impaired functioning of the endothelium is likely to be a key causative agent in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and diabetes. We would therefore like to identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention. Oxidative stress appears to be able to interfere with normal free radical signalling and oxidative stress-response gene activation pathways that the vessel wall uses to protect itself from injury. We use an integrated approach, combining state of the art preclinical and human pharmacology together with biochemistry, molecular and cell biology. Our scientists are currently investigating the following: (i) how free radicals are able to allow cells to communicate with each other, and how they are able to modulate the expression of proteins involved in disease. (ii) the measurement and assessment of endothelial function, and reversal of dysfunction in models of atherosclerosis and diabetes. (iii) the determination of specific and sensitive markers of oxidative injury in human disease and their relationship with endothelial function.

If you are interested in our research and would like to find out more please contact us directly m.j.carrier@mds.qmw.ac.uk

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