Atherosclerosis: cell biology and lipoproteins focus on epigenetic modification and macrophage biology
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of mortality worldwide, with millions of deaths annually. The main cause of CVD is atherosclerosis, a gradually progressing, chronic inflammatory disorder of the arteries eventually precipitating severe clinical manifestations such as myocardial infarction or stroke. The disease is driven by the accumulation of lipids and a variety of inflammatory cells in the arterial wall, hence hypercholesterolemia and the immune system are major propagators of atherosclerosis . A decade ago, seminal work by Swirski et al. described an inherent connection of persistent hypercholesterolemia and systemically increased levels of Ly6Chi monocytes in experimental models of atherosclerosis. Since, a number of studies have addressed the phenotype and transition of monocytes and macrophages in the field of atherosclerosis .