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Mediators Inflamm. 2013;2013:584715. doi: 10.1155/2013/584715. Epub 2013 Jan 21.

Macrophage autophagy in atherosclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Pharmacology, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy.

Abstract

Macrophages play crucial roles in atherosclerotic immune responses. Recent investigation into macrophage autophagy (AP) in atherosclerosis has demonstrated a novel pathway through which these cells contribute to vascular inflammation. AP is a cellular catabolic process involving the delivery of cytoplasmic contents to the lysosomal machinery for ultimate degradation and recycling. Basal levels of macrophage AP play an essential role in atheroprotection during early atherosclerosis. However, AP becomes dysfunctional in the more advanced stages of the pathology and its deficiency promotes vascular inflammation, oxidative stress, and plaque necrosis. In this paper, we will discuss the role of macrophages and AP in atherosclerosis and the emerging evidence demonstrating the contribution of macrophage AP to vascular pathology. Finally, we will discuss how AP could be targeted for therapeutic utility.

PMID:
23401644
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3563164
Free PMC Article
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