Rho kinase-mediated coronary arteriolar constriction to endothelin-1: Mechanistic implications for cardiac syndrome X Academic Article uri icon


  • Rho kinase (ROCK) has been implicated in mediating diverse biological functions of various cells. Accumulating evidence has suggested that abnormal activation of ROCK contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease. The elevation of endothelin-1, the most potent endogenous vasoconstrictor, is also known to be associated with numerous cardiovascular disorders. Recent reports suggest that the constriction of the coronary microvasculature to endothelin-1 is mediated by the activation of ROCK signaling. In this article, we provide an overview on the ROCK and endothelin-1 vascular biology in relation to the control of vasomotor activity and speculate on their contributions to local myocardial ischemia and cardiac syndrome X. Although the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in exerting endothelin-1/ROCK regulation of coronary microvascular function remain elusive, the development of specific and selective ROCK inhibitors appears to have therapeutic potential in cardiovascular disease treatment. Under License of Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

published proceedings

  • Translational Biomedicine

author list (cited authors)

  • Lu, G., Hein, T. W., & Kuo, L.

complete list of authors

  • Lu, G||Hein, TW||Kuo, L

publication date

  • January 2010