РусскийEnglish (UK)

Poznyak AV, Grechko AV, Wetzker R, Orekhov AN.

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Mar 18;21(6). pii: E2097. doi: 10.3390/ijms21062097.


Atherosclerosis is a multifactorial chronic disease that affects large arteries and may lead to fatal consequences. According to current understanding, inflammation and lipid accumulation are the two key mechanisms of atherosclerosis development. Animal models based on genetically modified mice have been developed to investigate these aspects. One such model is low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor knockout (KO) mice (ldlr-/-), which are characterized by a moderate increase of plasma LDL cholesterol levels. Another widely used genetically modified mouse strain is apolipoprotein-E KO mice (apoE-/-) that lacks the primary lipoprotein required for the uptake of lipoproteins through the hepatic receptors, leading to even greater plasma cholesterol increase than in ldlr-/- mice. These and other animal models allowed for conducting genetic studies, such as genome-wide association studies, microarrays, and genotyping methods, which helped identifying more than 100 mutations that contribute to atherosclerosis development. However, translation of the results obtained in animal models for human situations was slow and challenging. At the same time, genetic studies conducted in humans were limited by low sample sizes and high heterogeneity in predictive subclinical phenotypes. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the use of KO mice for identification of genes implicated in atherosclerosis and provide a list of genes involved in atherosclerosis-associated inflammatory pathways and their brief characteristics. Moreover, we discuss the approaches for candidate gene search in animals and humans and discuss the progress made in the field of epigenetic studies that appear to be promising for identification of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets.


atherosclerosis; epigenetics; mutations


Читать статью >>