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Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Oct;8(10):802-15. doi: 10.1038/nri2415.

The multifaceted contributions of leukocyte subsets to atherosclerosis: lessons from mouse models.

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Institute for Molecular Cardiovascular Research, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany.


Chronic inflammation drives the development of atherosclerosis, and details regarding the involvement of different leukocyte subpopulations in the pathology of this disease have recently emerged. This Review highlights the surprising contribution of granulocyte subsets and mast cells to early atherogenesis and subsequent plaque instability, and describes the complex, double-edged role of monocyte, macrophage and dendritic-cell subsets through crosstalk with T cells and vascular progenitor cells. Improved understanding of the selective contributions of specific cell types to atherogenesis will pave the way for new targeted approaches to therapy.

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