Aortic stiffness during cardiac contraction is defined by the rigidity of the aorta and the elastic resistance to deformation. Recent studies suggest that aortic stiffness may be associated with changes in cholesterol efflux in endothelial cells. This alteration in cholesterol efflux may directly affect endothelial function, extracellular matrix composition, and vascular smooth muscle cell function and behavior. These pathological changes favor an aortic stiffness phenotype. Among all of the proteins participating in the cholesterol efflux process, ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) appears to be the main contributor to arterial stiffness changes in terms of structural and cellular function. ABCA1 is also associated with vascular inflammation mediators implicated in aortic stiffness. The goal of this mini review is to provide a conceptual hypothesis of the recent advancements in the understanding of ABCA1 in cholesterol efflux and its role and association in the development of aortic stiffness, with a particular emphasis on the potential mechanisms and pathways involved.
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