As one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, ageing plays an important role in the alterations of vascular structure and function. Early vascular ageing refers to a condition in patients with impaired endothelial function and increased arterial stiffness that can be assessed before the overt clinical manifestations, such as hypertension and atherosclerosis. Both epidemiological and experimental data indicate that the biological age of endothelial cells in patients with cardiovascular diseases is older than their chronological age. In fact, endothelial senescence is present at the early stage of vascular ageing and contributes to the development of endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), the mammalian ortholog of yeast longevity regulator Sir2, is a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+)-dependent protein deacetylase that elicits a variety of vasoprotective functions. Overexpression of SIRT1 in endothelium prevents cellular senescence, enhances vasodilatory responses, and attenuates ageing-induced vascular damages. The present review summarizes the recent progresses related to SIRT1-mediated beneficial effects on the prevention of early vascular ageing and discusses the potential of SIRT1 in endothelial cells as an antivascular ageing target.
State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
Reprints: Yu Wang, PhD, Level 2, Laboratory Block, LKS Faculty of Medicine Building, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China. (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Supported by Research Grant Council grants (HKU17121714 and 780613M) and Collaborative Research Funds (C7055-14 G) of Hong Kong.
The authors report no conflicts of interest.
Received August 31, 2015
Accepted November 11, 2015