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Identifier 000444086
Title In vitro system of an atherosclerosis model
Alternative Title In vitro σύστημα ενός μοντέλου αθηροσκλήρωσης
Author Λάσκου, Μαρία
Thesis advisor Fisher, Edward A.
Kardassis, Dimitris
Tsatsanis, Christos
Abstract Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs) are two major cell types involved in arterial wall development, blood vessel integrity and homeostasis. In addition, they play a key role in atherosclerotic plaque formation. Atherosclerosis is a chronic cardiovascular inflammatory disease attributed to high blood cholesterol, obesity and/or diabetes, and it involves a plethora of different cell types, including VSMCs and ECs. These cells undergo phenotypical changes which further promote atherosclerosis. During disease progression VSMCs tend to differentiate from a contractile state to macrophage-, osteochondrocyte- or myofibobrast-like cells. ECs also transdifferentiate to mesenchymallike cells, such as myofibroblasts or smooth muscle cells, through the Endothelial to Mesenchymal transition (EMT). Understanding VSMC-EC function, cross-talk and phenotypic transdifferentiations during atherosclerosis may offer insights for prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD). Many in vitro systems have been focused on exploring these interactions and cross-talk; however, to our knowledge, there is not any single system that can truly recapitulate the full potential of cell phenotypical modulation in an atherosclerosis background. Here, we introduce a novel co-culture of human VSMCs and ECs after cholesterol treatment. Our system presents similar phenotypical changes of VSMCs, such as downregulation of contractile markers and upregulation of macrophage-like markers. Developing an in vitro system as an atherosclerosis model can be beneficial in studying cellular function, transdifferentiation and their underlying molecular mechanisms, as well as drug treatments for CVD.
Language English
Issue date 2021-12-01
Collection   School/Department--School of Medicine--Department of Medicine--Post-graduate theses
  Type of Work--Post-graduate theses
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