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International Journal of Vascular Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 648167, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/648167
Review Article

Recent Advances in Pharmacotherapy Development for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

1Department of Surgery and Clinical Science, Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1-1 Minami Kogushi, Ube, Yamaguchi 755-8505, Japan
2Graduate School of Health and Welfare, Yamaguchi Prefectural University, Yamaguchi 753-8502, Japan
3Cardiovascular Research Institute, Kurume University, Kurume, Fukuoka 830-0011, Japan

Received 28 April 2012; Accepted 25 June 2012

Academic Editor: Rei Shibata

Copyright © 2012 Koichi Yoshimura and Hiroki Aoki. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a common disease causing segmental expansion and rupture of the aorta with a high mortality rate. The lack of nonsurgical treatment represents a large and unmet need in terms of pharmacotherapy. Advances in AAA research revealed that activation of inflammatory signaling pathways through proinflammatory mediators shifts the balance of extracellular matrix (ECM) metabolism toward tissue degradation. This idea is supported by experimental evidence in animal models that pharmacologic intervention at each pathological step can prevent AAA development. Previously, we identified c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), a pro-inflammatory signaling molecule, as a therapeutic target for AAA. Abnormal activation of JNK in AAA tissue regulates multiple pathological processes in a coordinated manner. Pharmacologic inhibition of JNK tips the ECM balance back towards repair rather than degradation. Interventions targeting signaling molecules such as JNK in order to manipulate multiple pathological processes may be an ideal therapeutic strategy for AAA. Furthermore, the development of biomarkers as well as appropriate drug delivery systems is essential to produce clinically practical pharmacotherapy for AAA.