Atherosclerosis is considered as a chronic, low-grade inflammatory process involving the aorta and the medium-sized arteries. Exposure to air pollutants, especially particulate matter, is highly related to cardiovascular diseases including atherosclerosis. Many studies confirm that proatherogenic potential of particulate matter is determined by its ability to induce inflammation, oxidative stress and thrombosis formation. Recently, an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis has been attributed to autoimmune response. Moreover, harmful effects of PM particles strongly depend on their physicochemical properties. It is still not known what exact role air pollutants, and in particular their inorganic part, play in the development of atherosclerotic lesions. In this article, we will briefy discuss the different aspects of particulate matter activity and its implication with atherosclerosis progression.
Keywords: air pollution; atherosclerosis; particulate matter.