Atherogenesis is the pathogenetic process leading to formation of the atheroma lesion. It is associated to a chronic inflammatory state initially stimulated by an aberrant accumulation of lipid molecules beyond the endothelial barrier. This event triggers a cascade of deleterious events mainly through immune cell stimulation with the consequent liberation of potent pro-inflammatory and tissue damaging mediators. The atherogenetic process implies marked modifications of endothelial cell functions and a radical change in the endothelial-leukocyte interaction pattern. Moreover, accumulating evidence shows an important link between microvascular and inflammatory responses and major cardiovascular risk factors. This review illustrates the current knowledge on the effects of obesity, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes on microcirculation; their pathophysiological implications will be discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)