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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2010 Feb;9(2):141-53. doi: 10.1038/nrd3048.

Therapeutic targeting of chemokine interactions in atherosclerosis.

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  • 1The Institute for Molecular Cardiovascular Research, Uni ver sitäts klinikum Aachen, Medical Faculty, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Pauwelsstrasse 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany.


Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the arterial wall that is characterized by a disturbed equilibrium of immune responses and lipid accumulation, leading to the development of plaques. The atherogenic influx of mononuclear cells is orchestrated by chemokines and their receptors. Studies using gene-deficient mice and antagonists based on peptides and small molecules have generated insight into targeting chemokine-receptor axes for treating atherosclerosis, which might complement lipid-lowering strategies and risk factor modulation. Combined inhibition of multiple chemokine axes could interfere with the contributions of chemokines to disease progression at specific cells, stages or sites. In addition, the recently characterized heterophilic interactions of chemokines might present a novel target for the treatment and prevention of inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis.

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