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Targeting the chemokine network in atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis. 2021 Jun 29:S0021-9150(21)01197-7. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2021.06.912. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34247863.

Authors/Editors: Yan Y, Thakur M, van der Vorst EPC, Weber C, Döring Y.
Publication Date: 2021

Abstract

Chemokines and their receptors represent a potential target for immunotherapy in chronic inflammation. They comprise a large family of cytokines with chemotactic activity, and their cognate receptors are expressed on all cells of the body. This network dictates leukocyte recruitment and activation, angiogenesis, cell proliferation and maturation. Dysregulation of chemokine and chemokine receptor expression as well as function participates in many pathologies including cancer, autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammation. In atherosclerosis, a lipid-driven chronic inflammation of middle-sized and large arteries, chemokines and their receptors participates in almost all stages of the disease from initiation of fatty streaks to mature atherosclerotic plaque formation. Atherosclerosis and its complications are the main driver of mortality and morbidity in cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Hence, exploring new fields of therapeutic targeting of atherosclerosis is of key importance. This review gives an overview of the recent advances on the role of key chemokines and chemokine receptors in atherosclerosis, addresses chemokine-based biomarkers at biochemical, imaging and genetic level in human studies, and highlights the clinial trials targeting atherosclerosis.

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