Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease involving dysfunction of endothelial cells (EC) and enhanced permeability of the endothelium to oxidized low-density lipoprotein and the transmigration of monocytes from the blood to the intima where they are transformed into foam cells after lipid engulfment. Changes in the composition of the basement membrane leading to increased fibronectin deposition also occur and modify EC-extracellular matrix (ECM) mechanotransduction. The release of lipids due to foam cell apoptosis, as well as the migration of vascular smooth muscle cells from the media to the intima and their proliferation, increase the stiffness of arteries at later stages of atherosclerosis. EC dysfunction also involves other factors, including soluble cytokines and growth factors (GF) such as bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP). BMP-9 is a potent circulatory GF which has been shown to affect EC behavior. However, to date, few studies have investigated its role in atherosclerosis. The present review describes the histology and homeostasis of arteries by explaining EC function/dysfunction and discusses BMP-9 effect on EC behavior, considering factors engaged in the development of atherosclerosis.