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J Clin Invest. 2013 Aug;123(8):3201-3. doi: 10.1172/JCI67526. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Collagenases and cracks in the plaque.

Author information

1
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA. plibby@partners.org

Abstract

The core of an atheromatous plaque contains lipids, macrophages, and cellular debris, typically covered by a fibrous cap that separates the thrombogenic core from the blood. Rupture of the fibrous cap causes most fatal myocardial infarctions. Interstitial collagen confers tensile strength on the cap, as it does in skin and tendons. In 1994, Peter Libby and colleagues demonstrated overexpression of collagenolytic enzymes in atheromatous plaques and implicated MMPs in the destabilization of these lesions.

PMID:
23908120
PMCID:
PMC3726161
DOI:
10.1172/JCI67526
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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