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Inflammasome

Editor-in-Chief: Pelegrin, Pablo

Ed. by Lopez-Castejón, Gloria

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Emerging Science

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2300-102X
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Are oxidised low-density lipoproteins the true inducers of inflammation in atherosclerosis?

Maria Teresa Montero-Vega
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Research in Biochemistry, Ramón y Cajal Institute for Health Research (IRYCIS), Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, Ctra. Colmenar, km 9, 28034 Madrid, Spain
  • Email:
Published Online: 2014-10-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/infl-2014-0006

Abstract

Low-density lipoproteins become oxidised (ox-LDL) when retained in the arterial intima and are considered to be the inducers of inflammation in atherosclerosis. Peroxidation of phospholipids generates a variety of oxidised molecules in LDL and leads to the formation of oxidised lipid-protein adducts. These oxidative modifications are the target of various pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) and constitute immunogenic neoepitopes, termed oxidation-specific epitopes (OSEs). OSEs are thought to be a class of danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that mediate pro-inflammatory signals in atherosclerosis. Nevertheless, identical OSEs are generated on apoptotic cells that are identified by innate immunity through the same receptors to promote housekeeping tasks and immunosuppression. The present study provides an alternative point of view and proposes that OSEs are ‘waste-associated molecular patterns’ (WAMPs) recognised by innate immunity as a signal for the presence of oxidised waste that must be cleared without triggering inflammation. The hypothesis presented here states that ox-LDL are not inflammatory per se but instead polarise macrophages for housekeeping functions; however, other immune alerts, which are generated under the influence of risk factors, cooperate with them in switching macrophage polarisation towards dangerous phenotypes that complicate atheromas with different tendencies. This hypothesis of ‘immune cooperation’ explains why atheromas grow silently for decades and reveals atherosclerosis to be a dynamic disease that begins with the retention and oxidation of LDL in the arterial intima and ends with the formation of a thrombus, but in which the underlying immune process changes over time and differs between patients.

Keywords : oxidation-specific epitopes; natural antibodies; cardiovascular disease; M1 M2 macrophage; risk factors

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About the article

Received: 2013-11-01

Accepted: 2014-07-15

Published Online: 2014-10-10


Citation Information: Inflammasome, ISSN (Online) 2300-102X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/infl-2014-0006.

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© 2014 Maria Teresa Montero-Vega. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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