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Role of chemokines in differentiating monocytes from macrophage/spongy cells and reverse transendothelial migration, in the early stages of arteriosclerosis

14th national competition for scientific and technical research

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of atherosclerosis

Senior Researcher : Paloma Sánchez-Mateos Rubio

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Research Centre or Institution : Fundación para la Investigación Biomédica del Hospital Gregorio Marañón. Madrid


Arteriosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease. Arteriosclerosis is a progressive disease characterised by the accumulation of fat on arterial walls. In the early stages of the disease, the arterial wall becomes infiltrated by inflammatory cells (monocytes) which devour fat and are transformed into spongy cells, thereby producing "striae". Certain studies carried out in children indicate that this early damage tends to disappear, which suggests that inflammatory cells migrate from the vascular wall towards the bloodstream. The migration of inflammatory cells towards the vascular wall is controlled by chemotactic factors (which attract) and the migration of tissue cells towards the bloodstream may be influenced by chemorepulsion factors (which repel). In this project we undertake to analyse the role of attraction factors (chemokines) in the transformation of monocytes into spongy cells (formation of the arteriosclerotic plaque). We will also study the possible reverse migration of inflammatory cells from the vascular wall towards the bloodstream (treatment of striae). Knowledge of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate these processes will enable the development of new therapeutic approaches aimed at the prevention and control of arteriosclerosis.

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