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International Journal of Vascular MedicineVolume 2013 2013, Article ID 963596, 10 pages

Review ArticleResearch Team for Geriatric Medicine Vascular Medicine, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Sakaecho 35-2, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-0015, Japan

Received 2 August 2013; Accepted 12 August 2013

Academic Editor: Yoshitaka Iso

Copyright © 2013 Norihiko Sasaki and Masashi Toyoda. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vascular endothelial cells ECs form the inner lining of blood vessels. They are critically involved in many physiological functions, including control of vasomotor tone, blood cell trafficking, hemostatic balance, permeability, proliferation, survival, and immunity. It is considered that impairment of EC functions leads to the development of vascular diseases. The carbohydrate antigens carried by glycoconjugates e.g., glycoproteins, glycosphingolipids, and proteoglycans mainly present on the cell surface serve not only as marker molecules but also as functional molecules. Recent studies have revealed that the carbohydrate composition of the EC surface is critical for these cells to perform their physiological functions. In this paper, we consider the expression and functional roles of endogenous glycoconjugates and related molecules galectins and glycan-degrading enzymes in human ECs.

Autor: Norihiko Sasaki and Masashi Toyoda



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