Mechanisms and consequences of efferocytosis in advanced atherosclerosis

Edward Thorp, Ira Tabas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

122 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Throughout atherosclerotic lesion development, intimal macrophages undergo apoptosis, a form of death that usually prevents cellular necrosis. In advanced atherosclerotic lesions, however, these apoptotic macrophages become secondarily necrotic and coalesce over time into a key feature of vulnerable plaques, the necrotic core. This event is critically important, as necrotic core formation in these advanced atheromata is thought to promote plaque disruption and ultimately, acute atherothrombotic vascular disease. Increasing evidence suggests that the mechanism behind postapoptotic macrophage necrosis in advanced atherosclerosis is defective phagocytic clearance or "efferocytosis" of the apoptotic cells. Thus, understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of efferocytosis in atherosclerosis and why efferocytosis becomes defective in advanced lesions is an important goal. Molecular-genetic causation studies in mouse models of advanced atherosclerosis have provided evidence that several molecules known to be involved in efferocytosis, including TG2, MFG-E8, complement C1q, Mertk, lysoPC, and Fas, play important roles in the clearance of apoptotic cells in advanced plaques. These and future insights into the molecular mechanisms of defective efferocytosis in advanced atheromata may open the way for novel therapeutic strategies for atherothrombotic vascular disease, the leading cause of death in the industrialized world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1089-1095
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Volume86
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

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Atherosclerosis
Macrophages
Atherosclerotic Plaques
Vascular Diseases
Necrosis
Complement C1q
Tunica Intima
Causality
Molecular Biology
Cause of Death
Apoptosis
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology

Cite this

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title = "Mechanisms and consequences of efferocytosis in advanced atherosclerosis",
abstract = "Throughout atherosclerotic lesion development, intimal macrophages undergo apoptosis, a form of death that usually prevents cellular necrosis. In advanced atherosclerotic lesions, however, these apoptotic macrophages become secondarily necrotic and coalesce over time into a key feature of vulnerable plaques, the necrotic core. This event is critically important, as necrotic core formation in these advanced atheromata is thought to promote plaque disruption and ultimately, acute atherothrombotic vascular disease. Increasing evidence suggests that the mechanism behind postapoptotic macrophage necrosis in advanced atherosclerosis is defective phagocytic clearance or {"}efferocytosis{"} of the apoptotic cells. Thus, understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of efferocytosis in atherosclerosis and why efferocytosis becomes defective in advanced lesions is an important goal. Molecular-genetic causation studies in mouse models of advanced atherosclerosis have provided evidence that several molecules known to be involved in efferocytosis, including TG2, MFG-E8, complement C1q, Mertk, lysoPC, and Fas, play important roles in the clearance of apoptotic cells in advanced plaques. These and future insights into the molecular mechanisms of defective efferocytosis in advanced atheromata may open the way for novel therapeutic strategies for atherothrombotic vascular disease, the leading cause of death in the industrialized world.",
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Mechanisms and consequences of efferocytosis in advanced atherosclerosis. / Thorp, Edward; Tabas, Ira.

In: Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Vol. 86, No. 5, 01.11.2009, p. 1089-1095.

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mechanisms and consequences of efferocytosis in advanced atherosclerosis

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AU - Tabas, Ira

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Y1 - 2009/11/1

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AB - Throughout atherosclerotic lesion development, intimal macrophages undergo apoptosis, a form of death that usually prevents cellular necrosis. In advanced atherosclerotic lesions, however, these apoptotic macrophages become secondarily necrotic and coalesce over time into a key feature of vulnerable plaques, the necrotic core. This event is critically important, as necrotic core formation in these advanced atheromata is thought to promote plaque disruption and ultimately, acute atherothrombotic vascular disease. Increasing evidence suggests that the mechanism behind postapoptotic macrophage necrosis in advanced atherosclerosis is defective phagocytic clearance or "efferocytosis" of the apoptotic cells. Thus, understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of efferocytosis in atherosclerosis and why efferocytosis becomes defective in advanced lesions is an important goal. Molecular-genetic causation studies in mouse models of advanced atherosclerosis have provided evidence that several molecules known to be involved in efferocytosis, including TG2, MFG-E8, complement C1q, Mertk, lysoPC, and Fas, play important roles in the clearance of apoptotic cells in advanced plaques. These and future insights into the molecular mechanisms of defective efferocytosis in advanced atheromata may open the way for novel therapeutic strategies for atherothrombotic vascular disease, the leading cause of death in the industrialized world.

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