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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity - Volume 2015 2015, Article ID 130315, 10 pages -

Research Article

Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences Di.B.E.S.T., Transmission Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis CM2, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy

Department of Pharmacy and Sciences of Health and Nutrition, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy

Received 28 December 2014; Revised 1 March 2015; Accepted 2 March 2015

Academic Editor: David Pattison

Copyright © 2015 Ida Perrotta and Saveria Aquila. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Atherosclerosis is a multifactorial, multistep disorder of large- and medium-sized arteries involving, in addition to age, gender and menopausal status, a complex interplay between lifestyle and genetic risk factors. Atherosclerosis usually begins with the diffusion and retention of atherogenic lipoproteins into the subendothelial space of the artery wall where they become oxidized by local enzymes and accumulate, leading to the formation of a cushion called atheroma or atheromatous or fibrofatty plaque, composed of a mixture of macrophages, lymphocytes, smooth muscle cells SMCs, cholesterol cleft, necrotic debris, and lipid-laden foam cells. The pathogenesis of atherosclerosis still remains incompletely understood but emerging evidence suggests that it may involve multiple cellular events, including endothelial cell EC dysfunction, inflammation, proliferation of vascular SMCs, matrix ECM alteration, and neovascularization. Actually, a growing body of evidence indicates that autophagy along with the chronic and acute overproduction of reactive oxygen species ROS is integral to the development and progression of the disease and may represent fruitful avenues for biological investigation and for the identification of new therapeutic targets. In this review, we give an overview of ROS and autophagy in atherosclerosis as background to understand their potential role in this vascular disease.

Autor: Ida Perrotta and Saveria Aquila



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