Author(s): LemaireEwing S, Lagrost L, Nel D
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Abstract Lipid rafts are microdomains of the plasma membrane which are enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids. They serve as a platform for signal transduction, in particular during immune and inflammatory responses. As hypercholesterolemia and inflammation are two key elements of atherogenesis, it is conceivable that the cholesterol and cholesterol oxide content of lipid rafts might influence the inflammatory signalling pathways, thus modulating the development of atherosclerosis. In support of this emerging view, lipid rafts have been shown to be involved in several key steps of atherogenesis, such as the oxysterol-mediated apoptosis of vascular cells, the blunted ability of high density lipoproteins (HDL) to exert anti-inflammatory effects, and the exacerbated secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines by immune cells. Additional studies are now required to address the relative contribution of lipid raft abnormalities to the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Atherosclerosis
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine