Functional alterations of myeloid cell subsets in hyperlipidaemia: relevance for atherosclerosis

J Cell Mol Med. Nov-Dec 2009;13(11-12):4293-303. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2009.00965.x. Epub 2009 Nov 9.


Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease wherein the infiltration of myeloid cells of the vessel wall is a hallmark event. Lymphocytes, platelets and endothelial cells stand out as prominent suspects being involved in atherosclerosis. However, recent advances suggest a crucial role for myeloid leucocytes, specifically monocyte subsets, neutrophils, dendritic cells and endothelial progenitor cells. These cell types are not just rapidly recruited or already reside in the vascular wall, but also initiate and perpetuate core mechanisms in plaque formation and destabilization. Hyperlipidaemia is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis. Herein, hyperlipidaemia skews myeloid cell haemostasis, phenotype and transcriptional regulation of pro-inflammatory factors ultimately promoting myeloid cell extravasation and atherosclerosis. We here review the role of myeloid cells in atherosclerosis as well as the effects of hyperlipidaemia on these cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / pathology*
  • Atherosclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / pathology*
  • Hyperlipidemias / physiopathology*
  • Myeloid Cells / pathology*
  • Risk Factors