Atherosclerosis, inflammation, genetics, and stem cells: 2012 update

Pascal J. Goldschmidt-Clermont, Chunming Dong, David M. Seo, Omaida C. Velazquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Atherosclerosis is a peculiar form of inflammation triggered by cholesterol-rich lipoproteins and other noxious factors such as cigarette smoke, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension. Genetics also play an important role in the disease, accounting for about 40% of the risk. Of surprise in recent years of post-human genome sequencing, atherosclerosis-relevant genes discovered by non-biased techniques (ie, genome-wide association studies), did not rehash previously suspected pathways of lipid metabolism, diabetes, or hypertension. Instead these studies highlighted genes relevant to mechanisms of inflammation and stem cell biology. Only a minority of implicated genes were linked to lipid and other cardiac risk factor genes. Although such findings do not contradict the fact that atherosclerosis is triggered and exacerbated by elevated lipids, atherosclerosis "new genes" suggest that themechanismresponsible for the development of arterial lesions is more complex than a simple response to injury, where injury is necessary, but perhaps not sufficient, for disease progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-210
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent atherosclerosis reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Genetics
  • Inflammation
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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