Notch Signaling Regulates Immune Responses in Atherosclerosis
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Atherosclerosis is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease that can cause coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, depending on which arteries are affected. At the beginning of atherosclerosis plasma lipoproteins accumulate in the sub-endothelial space. In response, monocytes migrate from the circulation through the endothelium into the intima where they differentiate into macrophages. These early events trigger a complex immune response that eventually involves many cellular subtypes of both innate and adaptive immunity. The Notch signaling pathway is an evolutionary conserved cell signaling system that mediates cell-to-cell communication. Recent studies have revealed that Notch modulate atherosclerosis by controlling macrophages polarization into M1 or M2 subtypes. Furthermore, it is known that Notch signaling controls differentiation and activity of T-helper and cytotoxic T-cells in inflammatory diseases. In this review, we will discuss the role of Notch in modulating immunity in the context of atherosclerosis and whether targeting Notch may represent a therapeutic strategy.
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