Arteries, inflammation and insulin resistance

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Inflammation plays a role in all stages of atherosclerosis from the formation to the rupture of the plaque. Guided by inflammatory mediators, monocytes bind to an endothelium damaged by cardiovascular risk factors, and then migrate towards the intima where, after incorporating oxidized low-density lipoprotein particles, they are transformed into foam cells. The lipid streak forms and develops as an atherosclerotic plaque, which is susceptible to erosion and rupture. Inflammation fed by excess adipose tissue decreases insulin sensitivity, which is the central feature of the metabolic syndrome. Inflammation therefore appears to be a common factor of atherosclerosis and the metabolic syndrome. The factors triggering this inflammation have yet to be determined. One line of thought would appear to point to diet.

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