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Macrophages: First guards in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases

Nasser, M.I., Zhu, Shuoji, Huang, Huanlei, Zhao, Mingyi, Wang, Bo, Ping, Huang, Geng, Qingshan, Zhu, Ping
Life sciences 2020 v.250 pp. 117559
atherosclerosis, cholesterol, developing countries, heart, inflammation, lipid content, macrophages, mortality, myocarditis, pathogenesis, phenotype, therapeutics, tissue repair
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) remain one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide, especially in developing countries. It is widely known that severe inflammation can lead to atherosclerosis, which can cause various downstream pathologies, including myocardial injury and viral myocarditis. To date, several strategies have been proposed to prevent and cure CVD. The use of targeting macrophages has emerged as one of the most effective therapeutic approaches. Macrophages play a crucial role in eliminating senescent and dead cells while maintaining myocardial electrical activity and repairing myocardial injury. They also contribute to tissue repair and remodeling and plaque stabilization. Targeting macrophage pathways can, therefore, be advantageous in CVD care since it can lead to decreased aggregation of mononuclear cells at the injured site in the heart. Furthermore, it inhibits the development of pro-inflammatory factors, facilitates cholesterol outflow, and reduces the lipid concentration. More in-depth studies are still needed to formulate a comprehensive classification of phenotypes for different macrophages and determine their roles in the pathogenesis of CVD. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the understanding of the role of macrophages in the prevention and cure of CVD.