Inflammation plays a fundamental role in many chronic diseases, including atherosclerosis associated cardiovascular disease. Adhesion of immune cells plays a critical role in the inflammatory response and indeed the pathophysiology of inflammatory related diseases. P-selectin is an inflammatory adhesion molecule, enabling the recruitment of leukocytes to the endothelium and to activated platelets involved in the growing thrombus. P-selectin is critical in the progression of atherosclerosis as evidenced by knockout animal models where P-selectin knockout mice crossed with apoE deficient mice exhibit significantly reduced atherosclerosis and leukocyte recruitment in the plaque. A soluble form of P-selectin also exists, which may have pro-atherogenic and pro-thrombotic effects. Thus targeting of P- selectin remains a strong clinical candidate for developing novel therapeutic strategies in inflammatory diseases. This review will discuss the role of P-selectin and describe the function of P-selectin antagonists as clinical targets.
Keywords: P-selectin, inflammation, atherosclerosis, leukocyte, endothelium, cellular adhesion
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