Pathophysiological role of caveolae in hypertension


  • X. Lian
  • C. Matthaeus
  • M. Kaßmann
  • O. Daumke
  • M. Gollasch


  • Frontiers in Medicine


  • Front Med 6: 153


  • Caveolae, flask-shaped cholesterol-, and glycosphingolipid-rich membrane microdomains, contain caveolin 1, 2, 3 and several structural proteins, in particular Cavin 1-4, EHD2, pacsin2, and dynamin 2. Caveolae participate in several physiological processes like lipid uptake, mechanosensitivity, or signaling events and are involved in pathophysiological changes in the cardiovascular system. They serve as a specific membrane platform for a diverse set of signaling molecules like endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), and further maintain vascular homeostasis. Lack of caveolins causes the complete loss of caveolae; induces vascular disorders, endothelial dysfunction, and impaired myogenic tone; and alters numerous cellular processes, which all contribute to an increased risk for hypertension. This brief review describes our current knowledge on caveolae in vasculature, with special focus on their pathophysiological role in hypertension.