Document Detail

Cholesterol crystals and inflammation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23412688     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Chronic vascular inflammation is regarded as a crucial aspect of cardiovascular disease. However, the elicitors of this inflammatory response in the vessel wall are currently not well understood. Excessive amounts of cholesterol, an abundant and fundamental lipid molecule in mammalian cells, can initiate the development and progression of atherosclerosis. Accumulation of cholesterol in early atherosclerotic lesions results in the formation of macrophage foam cells, and crystalline cholesterol is found as a characteristic of advanced atherosclerotic plaques. Cholesterol crystals can activate the NLRP3 inflammasome, a multimolecular signaling complex of the innate immune system, resulting in caspase-1 mediated activation and secretion of proinflammatory interleukin-1 family cytokines. Furthermore, crystalline cholesterol is believed to induce plaque rupture by physical disruption of the fibrous cap covering atherosclerotic lesions. Here we review the effect of cholesterol deposition and crystallization on inflammatory responses in cardiovascular diseases.
Alena Grebe; Eicke Latz
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current rheumatology reports     Volume:  15     ISSN:  1534-6307     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr Rheumatol Rep     Publication Date:  2013 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-02-15     Completed Date:  2013-07-02     Revised Date:  2014-03-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100888970     Medline TA:  Curr Rheumatol Rep     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  313     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Atherosclerosis / complications,  physiopathology*
Cardiovascular Diseases / complications,  physiopathology
Cholesterol / chemistry,  physiology*
Inflammation / etiology,  physiopathology*
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