Research report 2022 - Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine

Novel protective mechanism against atherosclerosis

Shirakura, Keisuke; Vestweber, Dieter

Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Biomedizin, Münster

Atherosclerosis is a degenerative disease of the vessel wall. In leaky regions of the endothelial cell layer of arteries, lipid particles enter the vessel wall and trigger plaque formation. This happens preferentially in regions where curvature and vessel junctions slow down the blood stream and cause turbulences whereas in long and straight regions, rapid and laminar blood flow protect against leaks. We have found a mechanism that explains how rapid laminar flow protects against endothelial leaks. The molecular basis of this mechanism revealed potential targets for reducing atherosclerosis.

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