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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005 May;25(5):904-14. Epub 2005 Feb 24.

Nuclear factor kappaB signaling in atherogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands. dewinther@gen.unimaas.nl


Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease, characterized by the accumulation of macrophage-derived foam cells in the vessel wall and accompanied by the production of a wide range of chemokines, cytokines, and growth factors. These factors regulate the turnover and differentiation of immigrating and resident cells, eventually influencing plaque development. One of the key regulators of inflammation is the transcription factor nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB), which, for a long time, has been regarded as a proatherogenic factor, mainly because of its regulation of many of the proinflammatory genes linked to atherosclerosis. NF-kappaB may play an important role in guarding the delicate balance of the atherosclerotic process as a direct regulator of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory genes and as a regulator of cell survival and proliferation. Here we address recent literature on the function of NF-kappaB in inflammatory responses and its relation to atherosclerosis.

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