Because of their localization at the interface between blood and tissue, endothelial cells are responsible for the maintenance of vascular homeostasis. They fulfil a series of various functions and constantly interact with circulating leukocytes and with the smooth muscle cells (SMC) present in the media. Any disturbance of their metabolism can thus lead to alterations of the blood vessel functions. We have shown that hypoxia, for example resulting from venous stasis, induces the activation of endothelial cells which then release inflammatory mediators able to activate neutrophils and to induce their infiltration as well as growth factors for SMC. We propose that these processes are the beginning of a cascade of events eventually leading to structural and functional modifications of the venous wall similar to the ones observed in varicose vein wall. The endothelium alterations resulting from venous stasis would thus be the origin of the development of the venous disease. Pharmacological and clinical evidence reinforce this hypothesis.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|