Principles of targeting endothelial cell metabolism to treat angiogenesis and endothelial cell dysfunction in disease

Authors

  • Jermaine Goveia,

    1. Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Neurovascular Link, Vesalius Research Center, Department of Oncology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    2. Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Neurovascular Link, Vesalius Research Center, VIB, Leuven, Belgium
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  • Peter Stapor,

    1. Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Neurovascular Link, Vesalius Research Center, Department of Oncology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    2. Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Neurovascular Link, Vesalius Research Center, VIB, Leuven, Belgium
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  • Peter Carmeliet

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Neurovascular Link, Vesalius Research Center, Department of Oncology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    2. Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Neurovascular Link, Vesalius Research Center, VIB, Leuven, Belgium
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  • See also Glossary for abbreviations used in this article.

Abstract

The endothelium is the orchestral conductor of blood vessel function. Pathological blood vessel formation (a process termed pathological angiogenesis) or the inability of endothelial cells (ECs) to perform their physiological function (a condition known as EC dysfunction) are defining features of various diseases. Therapeutic intervention to inhibit aberrant angiogenesis or ameliorate EC dysfunction could be beneficial in diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, respectively, but current strategies have limited efficacy. Based on recent findings that pathological angiogenesis and EC dysfunction are accompanied by EC-specific metabolic alterations, targeting EC metabolism is emerging as a novel therapeutic strategy. Here, we review recent progress in our understanding of how EC metabolism is altered in disease and discuss potential metabolic targets and strategies to reverse EC dysfunction and inhibit pathological angiogenesis.

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