CXCL16/SR-PSOX--a friend or a foe in atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis. 2008 Apr;197(2):487-95. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2007.11.034. Epub 2008 Jan 14.


Chemokines, scavenger receptors and adhesion molecules have long been known as important players in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. A series of studies conducted in the past few years described CXCL16/SR-PSOX--a new molecule combining those three functions, and suggested that CXCL16/SR-PSOX can be a potential player in atherogenesis. Initial ex vivo studies showed that CXCL16/SR-PSOX is abundant in human and murine atherosclerotic lesions. Following in vitro studies suggested that as an adhesion molecule CXCL16/SR-PSOX might mediate T-cell adhesion to the endothelium, as a chemokine - drive T-cell migration, stimulate cell proliferation and elicit inflammatory phenotype in smooth muscle cells (SMC) and, finally, as a scavenger receptor - mediate uptake of atherogenic lipoproteins by macrophages and SMC. All these effects are known to be pro-atherogenic. Surprisingly, in vivo studies performed in murine models of atherosclerosis suggested that CXCL16/SR-PSOX is atheroprotective, while its receptor CXCR6 is harmful. In addition, studies investigating the association of circulating CXCL16/SR-PSOX plasma concentrations with the presence and extent of coronary artery disease (CAD) in humans are controversial suggesting both positive, negative and no association. To finally answer the question whether CXCL16/SR-PSOX can serve as a causative factor, biomarker or even a therapeutic target in atherosclerosis, we are currently in need of carefully designed animal and human studies investigating the effects of CXCL16/SR-PSOX and CXCR6 deficiency, inhibition and over-expression on the progression of atherosclerosis. Such complex approach will help us unravel the mystery of CXCL16/SR-PSOX in atherosclerosis and hopefully develop better ways of treating atherosclerosis by targeting this interesting molecule.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis* / immunology
  • Atherosclerosis* / physiopathology
  • Biomarkers
  • Chemokine CXCL16
  • Chemokine CXCL6 / immunology*
  • Chemokines, CXC / immunology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Endothelium, Vascular / immunology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Receptors, CXCR / immunology
  • Receptors, CXCR6
  • Receptors, Chemokine / immunology
  • Receptors, Scavenger / immunology*
  • Receptors, Virus / immunology


  • Biomarkers
  • CXCL16 protein, human
  • CXCR6 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL16
  • Chemokine CXCL6
  • Chemokines, CXC
  • Cxcl16 protein, mouse
  • Cxcr6 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, CXCR
  • Receptors, CXCR6
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Receptors, Scavenger
  • Receptors, Virus