Elastin peptides, also known as elastin-derived peptides or elastokines, are soluble polypeptides in blood and tissue. The blood levels of elastin peptides are usually low but can increase during cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysm and diabetes with vascular complications. Generally, elastin peptides are derived from the degradation of insoluble elastic polymers. The biological activities of elastin peptides are bidirectional, e.g., a pro-inflammatory effect on monocyte migration induction vs. a protective effect on vasodilation promotion. However, recent in vivo studies have demonstrated that elastin peptides promote the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in hypercholesterolemic mice and induce hyperglycemia and elevations in plasma lipid levels in fasted mice. More important, the detrimental effects induced by elastin peptides can be largely inhibited by genetic or pharmacological blockade of the elastin receptor complex or by neutralization of an antibody against elastin peptides. These studies indicate new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases by targeting elastin peptide metabolism. Therefore, the goal of this review is to summarize current knowledge about elastin peptides relevant to cardiovascular pathologies to further delineate their potential application in cardiovascular disease.
- Cardiovascular diseases
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience