Inflammation has been increasingly recognized as an important player in the pathophysiology of numerous human disorders. Accumulating evidence has led to the conclusion that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease, although it was believed to be a disorder of high cholesterol levels in the bloodstream for over a century. Cholesterol does contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, but through inflammatory mechanisms. Statins lower cholesterol levels and hence reduce inflammation in the vasculature and prevent heart disease. Statins may also exert anti-inflammatory effects through mechanisms independent of cholesterol lowering. Adhesion molecules, cytokines, oxidative stress, etc. appear to contribute to the inflammatory state of atherosclerosis and therapeutic approaches directed toward these markers or targets have the potential to be effective in reducing inflammation and treating atherosclerosis.
Keywords: coronary artery disease (CAD), proinflammatory, endothelium, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), ICAM-1, Oxidative stress
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