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Biology of Cholesterol Lowering in Atherosclerotic Plaques

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Inflammation plays a critical role in the development of atherosclerosis as well as the acute onset of thrombotic complications such as myocardial infarction, a leading cause of death. Accumulation of macrophages expressing proteolytic and thrombogenic molecules may promote plaque disruption and thrombus formation. Clinical evidence suggests that hypercholesterolemia is a major coronary risk factor, further supported by pre-clinical observations that hypercholesterolemia induces oxidative stress in the arterial wall, promoting endothelial cell activation and leukocyte invasion. Recent advances in clinical and preclinical vascular medicine have established that lipid-lowering therapy prevents acute coronary complications by limiting inflammation in atheromata. Dyslipidemia and macrophage activation also promote other forms of cardiovascular problems such as metabolic syndrome and calcification. Further understanding of the mechanism for vascular inflammation will provide new insight into atherogenesis as well as preventive cardiovascular medicine. New approaches, including molecular imaging, may identify subclinical inflamed cardiovascular lesions and monitor effects of therapies such as lipid lowering. (154 words)

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; calcification; hypercholesterolemia; inflammation; macrophages; metabolic syndrome; molecular imaging; oxidative stress

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-06-01

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  • Immunology, Endocrine & Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in the medicinal chemistry and rational drug design for the discovery of new Immunology, Endocrine & Metabolic Agents. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in Immunology, Endocrine & Metabolic medicinal chemistry.

    Immunology, Endocrine & Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments in Immunology, Endocrine & Metabolic drug discovery.
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