The functional integrity of the vascular endothelium is an essential component required for the maintenance of vascular health, thus counteracting the onset of vascular diseases, including atherosclerosis and vascular complications of diabetes. In light of this important role, the vascular endothelium is expected to have a self-defense system. One candidate factor of such a system is vasohibin-1 (VASH1), a protein that is preferentially expressed in vascular endothelial cells (ECs). The unique features of VASH1 are its anti-angiogenic activity and ability to promote the stress tolerance and survival of ECs. This review summarizes current knowledge regarding VASH1 in terms of its roles in maintaining vascular integrity and protecting the vasculature against various forms of stress.
- Endothelial cell