Human cells involved in atherosclerosis have a sex

Flavia Franconi, Giuseppe Rosano, Stefania Basili, Andrea Montella, Ilaria Campesi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-1001
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Humans
  • Immune cells
  • Sex differences
  • Vessel wall cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Human cells involved in atherosclerosis have a sex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this