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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 91-95

The role of endogenous aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling in cardiovascular physiology

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, USA

Correspondence Address:
Nan Zhang
Department of Internal Medicine, 1150, West Medical Center Drive, Room 7301, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0644
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Crossref citations1

DOI: 10.4103/0975-3583.83033

PMID: 21814412

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The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is an orphan nuclear receptor with a primary function of mediating xenobiotic metabolism through transcriptional activation of Phase I and Phase II drug-metabolizing enzymes. Although no high-affinity physiological activators of AHR have been discovered, the endogenous signaling of the AHR pathway is believed to play an important role in the development and function of the cardiovascular system, based on the observations on ahr gene-deficient mice. The AHR knockout mice develop cardiac hypertrophy, abnormal vascular structure in multiple organs and altered blood pressure depending on their host environment. In this review, the endogenous role of AHR in cardiovascular physiology, including heart function, vascular development and blood pressure regulation has been summarized and discussed.

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