Endothelium as a secretory organ
Cardiovascular diseases rank among the most life-threatening diseases and are a continuously increasing global problem in aging populations. Despite some progress in treatment options, the clinical prognosis of heart failure is currently worse than that of most cancers.
Endothelial cells in different organs have been shown to express a unique combination of transcription factors, angiogenic growth factors, adhesion molecules and chemokines. This reflects the varying needs of different organs for e.g. oxygen and nutrient supply. In response to different stimuli, ECs secrete a set of proteins, which can act on the various neighbouring cell types. It is estimated that humans have about 100000 km of blood vessels, which most likely makes the vasculature the largest endocrine organ in the body.
Our research is focused on studying how endothelial cell transcriptome and secretome is changed by common cardiometabolic risk factors such as aging, physical inactivity and obesity. Our aim is to identify novel targets in endothelial cells for cardiovascular diseases.