Involvement of multiple cell lineages in atherogenesis
Atherogenesis is a multicellular event. Early reports concentrated on the role of endotheliocytes, monocyte - macrophages and smooth muscle cells. Recognition of the immuno-inflammatory nature of the process, however, expanded the scope of cellular involvement and more recent reviews emphasize the role of immune and inflammatory cells. In addition, recent studies reveal that other cells are also involved. Elucidation of all the types of cells involved is valuable to inform therapeutic interventions for this disease, but most accounts concentrate on cells which are the target of the study and may fail to include other cells. This review therefore aimed at consolidating information on the various cells involved in atherogenesis. Review of contemporary literature was done for cells in the vessel wall and in blood to check for their potential role in atherogenesis. It has been shown that atherogenesis involves all the cells present in the various coats of the vessel wall – endotheliocytes, smooth muscle cells, fibroblasts, stem cells, pericytes, mast cells, dendritic cells, macrophages and immigrant cells usually found in blood, namely monocytes, neutrophils, lymphocytes, platelets and red blood cells. These cells promote atherogenesis by secreting several products which influence inflammation, migration, proliferation and secretory activity of each other in a manner that synergises their activities. Therapeutic interventions should target the various cell types.
Key Words: Cells, arterial wall, blood, atherogenesis.