Role of oxidative modifications in atherosclerosis

Physiological Reviews
Roland Stocker, John F Keaney

Abstract

This review focuses on the role of oxidative processes in atherosclerosis and its resultant cardiovascular events. There is now a consensus that atherosclerosis represents a state of heightened oxidative stress characterized by lipid and protein oxidation in the vascular wall. The oxidative modification hypothesis of atherosclerosis predicts that low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation is an early event in atherosclerosis and that oxidized LDL contributes to atherogenesis. In support of this hypothesis, oxidized LDL can support foam cell formation in vitro, the lipid in human lesions is substantially oxidized, there is evidence for the presence of oxidized LDL in vivo, oxidized LDL has a number of potentially proatherogenic activities, and several structurally unrelated antioxidants inhibit atherosclerosis in animals. An emerging consensus also underscores the importance in vascular disease of oxidative events in addition to LDL oxidation. These include the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species by vascular cells, as well as oxidative modifications contributing to important clinical manifestations of coronary artery disease such as endothelial dysfunction and plaque disruption. Despite these abundant data however, f...Continue Reading

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