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Nature. 2008 Feb 21;451(7181):904-13. doi: 10.1038/nature06796.

Translating molecular discoveries into new therapies for atherosclerosis.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Institute and Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 654 BRBII/III, 421 Curie Boulevard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Atherosclerosis is characterized by the thickening of the arterial wall and is the primary cause of coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease, two of the most common causes of illness and death worldwide. Clinical trials have confirmed that certain lipoproteins and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system are important in the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and that interventions targeted towards these are beneficial. Furthermore, efforts to understand how risk factors such as high blood pressure, dysregulated blood lipids and diabetes contribute to atherosclerotic disease, as well as to understand the molecular pathogenesis of atherosclerotic plaques, are leading to new targets for therapy.

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