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Cholesterol crystals piercing the arterial plaque and intima trigger local and systemic inflammation.

The occurrence of local and systemic inflammation in atherosclerosis is linked to the plaque piercing action of cholesterol crystals.

This research work was carried out to determine the inflammatory activity of cholesterol crystals. Researchers used a two-stage model to demonstrate the inflammatory action of cholesterol crystals.

In stage I, cellular apoptosis was induced in arterial plaque, triggering local inflammation resulting to the accumulation of a lipid-rich semi-liquid on the core of the plaque. The vulnerable plaque was pierced in stage II, leading to arterial wall injury which triggered systemic inflammation. The findings of this study reveal that cholesterol crystals may be responsible for the local and systemic inflammation experienced by patients suffering from atherosclerosis.

Research Summary Information

  • 2010
  • Abela GS.
  • Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, and Division of Pathology, Department of Physiology, Michigan State University, B208 Clinical Center, East Lansing, MI, USA. george.abela@ht.msu.edu
  • Yes, Free full text of study was found:
  • No. Source of funding disclosure not found
  • No. Potential conflicts disclosure not found
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