Current Atherosclerosis Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 187–189 | Cite as

Targeting Cytokine Signaling as an Innovative Therapeutic Approach for the Prevention of Atherosclerotic Plaque Development

  • Harald Schuett
  • Bernhard Schieffer
Invited Commentary

In the past two decades, inflammation has evolved as the essential driving force for atherosclerotic plaque development, with its detrimental clinical end-points of stroke, sudden cardiac death, heart failure, and myocardial infarction. Numerous studies provided evidence that from the initial lipid accumulation known as fatty streaks to the fatal rupture of vulnerable plaques, multiple as-yet uncharacterized inflammatory cells and molecules promote the disease process. However, these inflammatory mediators and mechanisms are not a disease per se, rather they represent a general defense mechanism against any kind of infection or injury. If so, and the inflammatory response is effective, it ensures the successful resolution of the underlying disease condition and supports the physiologic healing process. The onset of a chronic inflammatory process is caused when the natural course of inflammation is lost, resulting in disease progression rather than protection.

Atherogenesis is initiated...


Tocilizumab Coronary Artery Disease Patient Innate Immune Defense Experimental Mouse Model Infection Susceptibility 
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H. Schuett: none; B. Schieffer has received a grant from the German Research Foundation.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinic for Cardiology and AngiologyHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany

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