Title
Selective removal of macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques as a pharmacological approach for plaque stabilization: benefits vs. potential complications Selective removal of macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques as a pharmacological approach for plaque stabilization: benefits vs. potential complications
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Pharmacology. Therapy
Source (journal)
Current vascular pharmacology
Volume/pages
8(2010) :4 , p. 495-508
ISSN
1570-1611
ISI
000280122900006
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Atherosclerotic plaque destabilization is a major cause of unstable angina, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death. Macrophages, which are an essential component of unstable plaques, play a pivotal role in the destabilization process, whereas smooth muscle cells contribute to plaque stability. Selective removal of macrophages is therefore an interesting pharmacological objective to stabilize vulnerable, rupture-prone lesions. Pharmacological agents such as clodronate, nitric oxide donors, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors, protein synthesis inhibitors, and statins, that are capable of selectively depleting macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques without affecting smooth muscle or endothelial cells, have recently been identified. This review focuses on the mechanism of action of these drugs as well as on the potential pitfalls of drug-induced macrophage depletion.
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