Researcher Receives $2.5M to Explore the Origin of Arterial Hardening, Including the Possible Role of Exosomes; Findings Could Help Identify New Drug Targets for Treatment, Prevention

In diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease, arterial calcification and stiffening of the elastic layer of the arterial wall are almost always present. Think of it as if bones are forming inside your arteries. “Arterial calcification resembles osteogenesis, or bone formation, in which arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) within the arterial wall transform into osteoblast-like cells, or bone cells, that express many of the proteins associated with bone formation and release exosomes,” said Yang Zhang, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy.  

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