[Role of inflammation in atherogenesis].Invest Clin. 2009 Mar; 50(1):109-29.IC
Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the arterial wall, where both cellular and humoral immunity mechanisms are involved. Vascular endothelial dysfunction and lipoproteins retention into the arterial intima have been reported as the earliest events in atherogenesis, promoting cytokines and chemokines releases; both responsible of leukocytes recruitment. Arterial proteoglycans retain and modify the lipoproteins, increasing their phagocytosis into macrophages through class A and class B scavenger receptors in the case of oxidized lipoproteins (LDLox), causing the production of cytokines like Tumoral Necrosis Factor (TNF)- alpha, Interleukin (IL)-1 beta, IL-6, IL-12 and IL-18, among others. This secretion generates T cells activation into T helper lymphocytes (Th1), able to recognize the LDLox and heat shock protein as autoantigens, amplifying the inflammatory response. Macrophages that have uptaken lipoproteins become foam cells and their accumulation produces the formation of fatty streaks, the first step into atherosclerosis. Due to the biological and clinical importance of these events, the purpose of the present review is to offer recent information on the inflammatory reactions that occur around the establishment of the atheromatous plaque, exhibiting experimental evidences of the physiologic role of leukocytes and their interaction with the extracellular matrix. Furthermore, to emphasize about the major inflammatory biomarkers on the prognosis of cardiovascular diseases.