Endothelial-dependent mechanisms of leukocyte recruitment to the vascular wall.Circ Res. 2007 Aug 03; 101(3):234-47.CircR
Inflammation is a fundamental process that protects organisms by removing or neutralizing injurious agents. A key event in the inflammatory response is the localized recruitment of various leukocyte subsets. Here we address the cellular and regulatory mechanisms of leukocyte recruitment to the vessel wall in cardiovascular disease and discuss our evolving understanding of the role of the vascular endothelium in this process. The vascular endothelium is the continuous single-cell lining of the cardiovascular system that forms a critical interface between the blood and its components on one side and the tissues and organs on the other. It is heterogeneous and has many synthetic and metabolic functions including secretion of platelet-derived growth factor, von Willebrand factor, prostacyclin, NO, endothelin-1, and chemokines and the expression of adhesion molecules. It also acts as a nonthrombogenic and selective permeable barrier. Endothelial cells also interact closely with the extracellular matrix and with adjacent cells including pericytes and smooth muscle cells within the vessel wall. A central question in vascular biology is the role of the endothelium in the initiation of inflammatory response, the extent of its "molecular conversations" with recruited leukocytes, and its influence on the extent and/or outcome of this response.