Healthy mature arteries are usually extremely quiescent tissues with cell proliferation rates much below 1%/day and with extracellular matrix constituents exhibiting half-lives of years to decades. However, chronic physiological or pathological changes in haemodynamic function elicit arterial remodelling processes that may involve substantial tissue synthesis, degradation or turnover. Although these remodelling processes accommodate changing demands placed upon the cardiovascular system by physiological adaptations, they can compromise further perfusion in the context of arterial occlusive disease and they entrench hypertension and may exacerbate its progression. Recent findings indicate that some of the most important such remodelling responses involve the integrated effects of persistently altered vascular tone that feed into restructuring responses, with common signalling pathways frequently interacting in the control of both phases of the response. Current efforts to define these signals and their targets may provide new directions for therapeutic interventions to treat important vascular disorders.

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