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Mononuclear Cell Recruitment and Inflammation in Atherosclerosis

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Atherosclerosis is the result of vascular injury followed by an inflammatory and fibroproliferative response and large number of growth factor, cytokines and vasoregulatory molecules participate in this process. This paper presents a brief review of some mechanisms controlling the aforementioned response and involved in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. As mononuclear cell recruitment into the arterial intima plays a crucial role in atherogenesis, attention has focused on mechanisms responsible for the selective recruitment of these cells into the vascular wall, with emphasis on the role of specific adhesion molecules and modulation of their expression. The role of macrophages and lymphocytes as mediators of inflammation and immune response is also reviewed. Corroboration of the hypothesis that inflammation plays a fundamental role in atherogenesis has come from a series of prospective cohort studies demonstrating that systemic markers of inflammation identify patients at high risk of future coronary events. Novel therapies aimed at influencing with mononuclear cell recruitment and inflammation are discussed, although in most cases their clinical relevance has not been established. Carefully designed clinical trials are awaited to evaluate their usefulness for the prevention and management of vascular disease.
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Keywords: atherosclerosis; endothelial cell adhesion molecules; inflammation; mononuclear cell recruitment

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Regional Center for Atherosclerosis Research Pomeranian Academy of Medicine ul. Powstanców Wlkp. 72 70-111 Szczecin Poland.

Publication date: 2004-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Vascular Disease Prevention publishes reviews as well as original papers to update all those concerned with this topic at the clinical or scientific level. In addition to clinically relevant topics, we consider reviews and original papers dealing with the more scientific aspects of vascular disease prevention. This includes the evaluation of emerging vascular risk factors, research dealing with the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and the investigation of new treatment options both at the clinical and scientific level (e.g. epidemiology, patient-based studies, experimental models, in vitro experiments or molecular research). Therefore, another function of Vascular Disease Prevention is to bridge the gap between clinical practice and ongoing laboratory-based research.

    In particular, we welcome critical reviews and comments on recent trials. This is a topic that requires regular updates because of the large number of trials published every year.

    Debates are encouraged in the correspondence section of this journal.
    The editorial structure of Vascular Disease Prevention is set up with the aim of dealing with the submitted material as rapidly as possible. Specialist editors will provide a more expert and rapid assessment unlike a more centralized editorial structure.
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