Endothelial cilia protect against atherosclerosis

EMBO Rep. 2016 Feb;17(2):125-6. doi: 10.15252/embr.201541890. Epub 2016 Jan 14.


Research over the past 15 years has established that defective primary cilia play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of various genetic and acquired human diseases now termed ciliopathies. A new study, published in this issue of EMBO reports, expands the spectrum of cilia‐related diseases by uncovering a role for primary cilia in preventing cardiovascular disease. Dinsmore and Reiter show that lack of endothelial cilia in the aorta results in accelerated development of atherosclerotic lesions in a mouse model of atherosclerosis on a high‐fat, high‐cholesterol diet. Loss of endothelial cilia further increases inflammatory gene expression and reduces vasoprotective eNOS activity 1. In summary, this interesting study identifies a role for aortic endothelial cilia to protect against atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cilia / metabolism*
  • Endothelial Cells
  • Endothelium*
  • Humans
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • Stress, Mechanical