Vascular metallomics: Copper in the vasculature

Renee N. Easter, Qilin Chan, Barry Lai, Erik L. Ritman, Joseph A. Caruso, Zhenyu Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Owing to recent progress in analytical techniques, metallomics are evolving from detecting distinct trace metals in a defined state to monitor the dynamic changes in the abundance and location of trace metals in vitro and in vivo. Vascular metallomics is an emerging field that studies the role of trace metals in vasculature. This review will introduce common metallomics techniques including atomic absorption spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry with a summary table to compare these techniques. Moreover, we will summarize recent research findings that have applied these techniques to human population studies in cardiovascular diseases, with a particular emphasis on the role of copper in these diseases. In order to address the issue of interdisciplinary studies between metallomics and vascular biology, we will review the progress of efforts to understand the role of copper in neovascularization. This recent advance in the metallomics field may be a powerful tool to elucidate the signaling pathways and specific biological functions of these trace metals. Finally, we summarize the evidence to support the notion that copper is a dynamic signaling molecule. As a future direction, vascular metallomics studies may lead to the identification of targets for diagnosis and therapy in cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalVascular Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Vascular diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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