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Abstract

The vascular adventitia acts as a biological processing center for the retrieval, integration, storage, and release of key regulators of vessel wall function. It is the most complex compartment of the vessel wall and is composed of a variety of cells, including fibroblasts, immunomodulatory cells (dendritic cells and macrophages), progenitor cells, vasa vasorum endothelial cells and pericytes, and adrenergic nerves. In response to vascular stress or injury, resident adventitial cells are often the first to be activated and reprogrammed to influence the tone and structure of the vessel wall; to initiate and perpetuate chronic vascular inflammation; and to stimulate expansion of the vasa vasorum, which can act as a conduit for continued inflammatory and progenitor cell delivery to the vessel wall. This review presents the current evidence demonstrating that the adventitia acts as a key regulator of vascular wall function and structure from the outside in.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-physiol-030212-183802
2013-02-10
2024-06-20
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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