Chemokines in Atherosclerosis
Chemokines play important roles in atherosclerotic vascular disease. Expressed by not only cells of the vessel wall but also emigrated leukocytes, chemokines were initially discovered to direct leukocytes to sites of inflammation. However, chemokines can also exert multiple functions beyond cell recruitment. Here, we discuss novel and recently emerging aspects of chemokines and their involvement in atherosclerosis. While reviewing newly identified roles of chemokines and their receptors in monocyte and neutrophil recruitment during atherogenesis and atheroregression, we also revisit homeostatic functions of chemokines, including their roles in cell homeostasis and foam cell formation. The functional diversity of chemokines in atherosclerosis warrants a clear-cut mechanistic dissection and stage-specific assessment to better appreciate the full scope of their actions in vascular inflammation and to identify pathways that harbor the potential for a therapeutic targeting of chemokines in atherosclerosis.
- Received September 1, 2013.
- Accepted January 3, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.