The influence of sex has been largely described in cardiovascular diseases. Atherosclerosis is a complex process that involves many cell types such as vessel cells, immune cells and endothelial progenitor cells; however, many, if not all, studies do not report the sex of the cells. This review focuses on sex differences in human cells involved in the atherosclerotic process, emphasizing the role of sex hormones. Furthermore, we report sex differences and issues related to the processes that determine the fate of the cells such as apoptotic and autophagic mechanisms. The analysis of the data reveals that there are still many gaps in our knowledge regarding sex influences in atherosclerosis, largely for the cell types that have not been well studied, stressing the urgent need for a clear definition of experimental conditions and the inclusion of both sexes in preclinical studies.
- Immune cells
- Sex differences
- Vessel wall cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine