Endothelial Injury and Atherosclerosis

  • Russell Ross


In 1973, we proposed a hypothesis of atherogenesis35 that provided a basis for the design of in vivo and in vitro experiments to determine how the advanced proliferative smooth muscle lesions of atherosclerosis form. Three fundamental biologic phenomena comprise the advanced lesions of atherosclerosis and lead to the development of occlusive lesions. Understanding why and how each of these phenomena occurs is fundamental to the development of this hypothesis. These phenomena are: (1) the accumulation of large numbers of intimal cells, principally proliferated smooth muscle together with numerous macrophages derived from blood monocytes; (2) formation by the proliferated smooth muscle cells of connective tissue matrix macromolecules including collagen, elastic fibers, and proteoglycans; and (3) accumulation of lipid both within the accumulated smooth muscle cells and macrophages, and within the components of the extracellular matrix. Any hypothesis of atherogenesis must take into account these phenomena, and should afford the opportunity to devise experiments to test the various components of the hypothesis


Smooth Muscle Cell Endothelial Injury Fatty Streak Advanced Lesion Arterial Smooth Muscle Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell Ross
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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