Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) pose a considerable health burden and at present are only managed surgically since there is no proven pharmacotherapy that will retard their expansion or reduce the incidence of fatal rupture. This pathology shares several pathophysiological mechanisms with atherosclerosis, such as macrophage infiltration, inflammation, and degradation of extracellular matrix. Therefore, therapeutic targets proven effective in the treatment of atherosclerosis could also be considered for treatment of AAA. Different members of the nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily have been extensively studied as potential targets in the treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and therefore might also be suited for AAA treatment. In this context, this review summarizes the role of different NRs in CVD, mostly atherosclerosis, and discusses in detail the current knowledge of their implications in AAA. From this overview it becomes apparent that NRs that were attributed a beneficial or adverse role in CVD have similar roles in AAA. Together, this overview provides compelling evidence to consider several NRs as attractive targets for future treatment of AAA.
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