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Atherosclerosis: a chronic inflammatory disease mediated by mast cells

Posted February 1, 2016
This news or article is intended for readers with certain scientific or professional knowledge in the field.

Inflammation is a process that plays an important role in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis and immune disease, involving multiple cell types, including macrophages, T-lymphocytes, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and mast cells.

The fundamental damage of atherosclerosis is the atheromatous or fibro-fatty plaque which is a lesion that causes several diseases. In atherosclerosis the innate immune response, which involves macrophages, is initiated by the arterial endothelial cells which respond to modified lipoproteins and lead to Th1 cell subset activation and generation of inflammatory cytokines and chemoattractant chemokines.

Other immune cells, such as CD4+ T inflammatory cells, which play a critical role in the development and progression of atherosclerosis, and regulatory T cells [Treg], which have a protective effect on the development ofatherosclerosis are involved. Considerable evidence indicates that mast cells and their products play a key role in inflammation and atherosclerosis. Activated mast cells can have detrimental effects, provoking matrix degradation, apoptosis, and enhancement as well as recruitment of inflammatory cells, which actively contributes to atherosclerosis and plaque formation. Here we discuss the relationship between atherosclerosis, inflammation and mast cells.

Source: Cent Eur J Immunol. 2015;40(3):380-6. doi: 10.5114/ceji.2015.54603. Epub 2015 Oct 15.

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