Arachidonic acid metabolites, eicosanoids, are key contributors to vascular function and improper eicosanoid regulation contributes to the progression of cardiovascular diseases. Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) are synthesized from arachidonic acid by epoxygenase enzymes to four regioisomers, 5,6-EET, 8,9-EET, 11,12-EET, and 14,15-EET. These EETs have interesting beneficial effects like vasodilation, anti-inflammation, and anti-platelet aggregation that could combat cardiovascular diseases. There is mounting evidence that each regioisomeric EET may have unique vascular effects and that the contribution of individual EETs to vascular function differs from organ to organ. Over the past decade EET analogs and antagonists have been synthesized to determine EET structure function relationships and define the contribution of each regioisomeric EET. A number of studies have demonstrated that EET analogs induce vasodilation, lower blood pressure and decrease inflammation. EET antagonists have also been used to demonstrate that endogenous EETs contribute importantly to cardiovascular function. This review will discuss EET synthesis, regulation and physiological roles in the cardiovascular system. Next we will focus on the development of EET analogs and what has been learned about their contribution to vascular function. Finally, the development of EET antagonists and how these have been utilized to determine the cardiovascular actions of endogenous epoxides will be discussed. Overall, this review will highlight the important knowledge garnered by the development of EET analogs and their possible value in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Cardiovascular Research Center, Medical College of Wisconsin,8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI-53226, USA.
Publication date: April 1, 2010
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