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Chapter 6: MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY OF BLOOD VESSELS FUTURE DIRECTIONS

Defining the molecular and cellular basis for dysfunction of the arterial wall in vascular diseases provides information critical to developing clinical strategies for patient management, as well as new therapeutic targets. It is now clear that both endothelial function and smooth muscle function are compromised by a variety of risk factors for vascular disease, due in part to oxidative stress. Further research is required to determine at a more basic level the molecular events that link these risk factors to these diseases. In the near future, the human genome will be fully sequenced, and via the use of bioinformatics, it will be possible to identify genetic profiles that predispose people to the development of vascular pathologies. Clinical trials in the future will be targeted to these populations in new and powerful ways, and basic research will address the roles of these newly identified genes in vascular physiology and pathophysiology.

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